But the email wasn't the one I was hoping for.
The email I received was a new blog post by a writer I admire about a new milestone she'd hit and her upcoming plans which all included more excellent writing things. I'd read about a half-dozen such posts from various writers in the last week or so. But this one was the straw that broke the camel's back.
I sighed deeply as I shut off my phone and turned my attention back to the work I was supposed to be doing in the first place. I pulled up the rates of the various New Jersey insurance carriers and began selecting plans.
You shouldn't have looked at your phone. You need to pay attention to your work. Your REAL work, the work that pays the bills. Not this writer pipe dream of yours.
"That's it exactly," I agreed with myself out loud. "I'm not a writer, I'm a dreamer."
I grabbed a tissue, blotted my eyes, blew my nose and got back to work. I tried to focus, but my mind was way off on its own, dragging me down.
The story is all there, I lived it for crying out loud. The time is there, when I choose not to waste it. There are many excuses for why I don't have a first draft of my memoir, but only one real reason.
I'm afraid, damn it.
I'm afraid I'll never finish it. I told everyone I was writing it and now there's still barely anything to show for it. I shuffle pages around, rework the same damn paragraphs over and over again, but I get nowhere.
I'm afraid if I do finish it, I'll find out it's terrible. I'm afraid I'll learn that all that time was wasted telling a story no one cares about because, after all, I'm just a person who took care of one sick parent and whose other sick parent was absent. This story has been told before, better than I can tell it. I'm sure I'm as unoriginal as they come.
I'm afraid when I finish it, I'll find out I am a horrible daughter who has disrespected her parents by airing our dirty laundry. I'm afraid I won't be a sympathetic character in my own life story. And what do I even want? To be pitied? To be told by others they are proud of me? Is there a point or am I just another attention whore?
Does owning my fears and sharing them alleviate their intensity at all?
I don't know. Not yet.
I pushed it out of my mind. I focused on my work. Another day with nothing written.
Insurance is safer, after all.
Linking up. Great community. Check it out.