Even beginning this post is a perfect encapsulation of where I am right now – I had to Google whether or not I should capitalize all the words in the title. In a sense, I knew that was the correct way to do it, but I was unsure of myself, insecure about it, and not sure what I “should” do. Searching confirmed my suspicions, but I still left it as it is. Thing is, I went to college, I “know” what to do. I’ve just become very unsure of myself when writing.
And that hurts. I used to be an excellent writer. I didn’t work at it either, it just came naturally. Heck, I didn’t even like to read that much when I was younger. But when I was tasked with writing essays in high school, they just poured out of me, with excellent spelling, punctuation, content, structure – I was a natural. Towards the end of high school, the muse of poetry came to me (and I could not STAND poetry, not even the cool ones like W. B. Yeats lol), and I became a fairly prolific poet over the next 8-9 years.
Then, something happened – the muse left me, and I was done with poetry, just like that. Fortunately, I still had my essay writing ability, and in the late 2000’s set about blogging. I had dreams of becoming some famous blogger, of getting “discovered,” or maybe just winning the lottery so I could write a book that I had always wanted to write. None of those things happened, and I never had more than a few followers, but I kept writing. It was basically journaling for the most part, with some posts written in the hope that someday, someone would read them.
In 2018, I finally got a Twitter account going, and started linking my posts there. It did drive up readership – I now had 4 people reading instead of 2 – but still got very little real engagement. But that was ok, as long as it wasn’t just me reading it, I felt good. But I am off Twitter now, for ethical reasons, and I’m not sure how much engagement I’m going to get linking my posts on Mastodon. But that’s not what’s really bothering me. No, what bothers me is that my writing actually sucks now – at least compared to some of the other stuff I read, and more distressingly, compared to some of the stuff I myself used to write. My skills have degraded to such a point that I’m don’t even know if I can consider myself a writer.
I think what started this plunge into insecurity was a Facebook interaction. A person, a writer I really admire there, had posted something about the aesthetic of evil, why the bad guys/girls always seem to look so much cooler than the good ones in movies, stories, etc. I struggled to get the words out to capture my deepest thoughts, and it sounded like something a high schooler could have written. Someone came after me, and wrote something that sounded worthy of Wordsworth or something – I mean, really impressive. Why can’t I write like that anymore? Did I ever?
And the really ironic thing is that I read fairly prolifically now. Every night before bed, I am engaged in reading some book or another. I can’t even count how many I’ve read. One of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve seen for writers is to read more, to help expand vocabulary, etc. But that certainly hasn’t seemed to help me. No, my writing just gets more and more basic. I mean, not that it really matters anyway – I typically am the only person to see most of my posts. But still. I guess I considered it my “gift,” something that I was good at that I didn’t have to work at, was just blessed with – and now, the gift is fading.
It probably doesn’t help that I am the perpetual mystic – the quest for spiritual/metaphysical knowledge and experience of union with the One that is All – has always been my driving force, my true inspiration and goal. And fact is, it’s gotten harder and harder to put my thoughts into words. It’s as if my mind has gotten tired of trying to capture thoughts that simply can’t be captured with mere words. But then, maybe that’s just an excuse, as I read other writers and am envious at how they are able to capture the essence of experiences and feelings. I don’t know.
This post did not go where I thought it was going to, at ALL lol. I was going write about how I got really depressed yesterday; how I’m feeling a mini dark night of the soul; how I’m not experiencing any synchronicities and am feeling “out of the flow;” how I’m feeling the familiar dissatisfaction with life in Babylon. But it ended up being about my fading writing skills. I guess that’s what needed to come out. And, not to sound whiny, but chances are no more than a very few people will read this, so it doesn’t matter in a greater sense. What matters is that what needed to come out did, and maybe now, that darkness will lift a little bit. If you are someone other than me reading this, thank you for the time. And if you ARE me, great job 🙂