The challenge of writing

Obviously, I haven’t written much of anything in awhile.  I have excuses that sound like reasons when I’m feeling guilty.  I’ve been working, school started back up, the kids keep me busy, I’ve been job-hunting, whatever.  I recognize that when I’m watching The Wire with my husband, I could be writing instead of playing my DS.  If I can get homework done while my kids run around, I can probably get some writing done.  All of that is true, but it does not cover the biggest problem I’m having with writing: Honesty.

I’m realizing that I need to get down and dirty and write things that could make me uncomfortable.  One example is the book Beloved.  If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth it.  It’s a ghost story/fictional former slave narrative/fictionalized retelling of an event.  However you classify it, it’s unique.  It can also be awkward.  It’s got all the good stuff, sex and violence.  When I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think, there’s no way I could write this.  Okay, so don’t write that.  Simple enough answer, but I’d like to write with some depth.

The deepest, rawest thing I’ve got is my own life.  I grew up with a mentally ill father and now I have my own children.  There’s content there, but I’m scared to piss off the wrong people.  Besides, most people don’t care to read biographies unless they’re about celebrities, which I’m not.  What if I was though?  What if I became a celebrity?  It would open doors, but I’d feel the need to shutter my windows.

When I was younger, I was a classic example of “over-sharing”.  I still engage in TMI every once in a while, but after a relationship that encouraged me to keep to myself and discouraged me from… most everything, I confess I’m meeker than I once was.  They say, “once burned, twice shy”.  You could say that about me.  For the most part, I’ve stopped gossiping.  I don’t talk about my life as much any more and I definitely don’t share my true feelings about things or people, especially people.

I asked my husband the other night, how it is that people are comfortable being themselves even when they’re obnoxious.  I thought of Billy Eichner (whom I love!) and a friend of mine that can be very offensive.  I’m not offended, but I’m sure other people are.  They’re loud, obnoxious, and make snarky remarks or flagrant comments.  That’s part of why I love them.  Sometimes I think I’d like to be like them.  I know it won’t happen.  I was raised to be conscientious of everyone’s feelings.  My father stressed the importance of not bothering people.  When our house needed fixing, he’d wait until the last moment to go our landlord because he didn’t want to bother her.  We couldn’t go to a store within fifteen minutes of closing time (I wish my store’s customers felt the same way sometimes).  Now, if I receive the wrong food, I just eat it.  If I buy something that’s defective, I don’t usually return it.  It’s like Curb Your Enthusiasm: Don’t bother Larry.  I’m Larry’s mom.  Even if I’m dying, don’t bother Larry.

I’d like to break out of my shell, to be that person.  I thought trying new things or things that scare me would do it, but conveniently enough, I had work during a day of auditions for a play.  I couldn’t find any acting or singing classes that meet on Tuesdays or Thursdays when I’m already at school.  Most other events are Fridays when my husband has to stay late at work.  So far, the closest thing I’ve done to scare myself is to quit my job before I secured another one.  I have to say, it’s worked so far.  I’m terrified.  Truthfully, I even feel a little braver, a little more honest, and a little more like myself.  Today was the day I decided to share that.  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll risk the ire of my small ones and write something else.  Let’s be honest, I’ll probably just play my DS.