It feels as if I have written for a thousand years in this lifetime. Honestly, it’s closer to forty (or more), but we won’t go there. I will admit there have been times when I completely stopped writing, for years at a time, due to depression, conflict, and/or having children. Some babies are more conducive to Mama working than others. For the most part, I have been writing since I was about nine years old, give or take.
I used to think I was a really good writer. I would never claim to be an amazingly great writer. I would never claim to be the best writer out there. I know better. I was good. But life is hard.
Life takes a toll. I can go on and on about the challenges of my life, the things I have seen and that I have dealt with, but that is not where I want to go at the moment.
I have been, frankly, nervous about claiming space for myself on the internet. It’s one thing to write out on my blog, where I don’t know, tens of people may see it. It’s another thing to write and publish on Medium, and on Substack. Some days, I am trembling with fear at the thought that I have committed myself to writing and publishing, weekly, everywhere, all the time.
What am I thinking? Who would read what I have to say? Why would my work matter at all? Why would I think I am doing anything more than making myself happy by writing and putting things out there?
And then, people started to comment on my work.
Now, I belong to a writer’s group. The Confident Creative club is AMAZING. These ladies are … they are Home for me, even though there are times I don’t reach out or show up for weeks at a time because, well, I ran out of spoons and seem to have lost my entire supply for unending times. But they still show up and read what I write. They still comment.
Me, being me, however, has this niggle in the back of my brain telling me they might be saying things to inspire me and keep me going because that’s what they do, without meaning it. Well, they mean it, but it’s more well-meaning, let’s give her some encouragement so she keeps going, versus the heart-felt, oh my gosh, this touched me sort of praise.
Then, something else happened. People not in the CCC commented on my work. They asked me for more. They told me I inspired them. They complimented my work.
Strangers did this. Strangers.
It helps. It does.
I remember when I was in high school. I had so much support. I wrote constantly. I wrote crap. But I had support to write that crap. It was crap mostly because I was writing and rewriting a lot of fan fiction, not knowing what fan fiction was back then. But the poetry came then too. Poetry was the first thing I ever wrote. I have written poetry since before I even became a tween. I have taken more Poetry classes than any other type of class because that is where my heart lies.
Funny thing about those classes. They always made me feel bad on some level. As if my work would never measure up. As if the way I wrote, the way I did things, the way I feel, wasn’t evocative enough, wasn’t splendid enough, wasn’t polished enough. It never stopped me from writing my poems, but it did make me more reticent about publishing.
Now, with other people reaching out and saying good job and meaning it, I think I might have to publish a lot more. Not just the poetry, but the other writing as well.
Thank you to all who support me and encourage me, no matter what. I am grateful, more than I can say.