Writing something like this it’s like jamming or actually very calmly and tenderly inserting my fingers into my throat to make myself sick when I have a stomach ache. I think everyone has something that if they were told or even worse if they just one day realised they couldn’t do it, were never able to do it, it would destroy them; it would be as if what they thought was their reason for being alive, the thing that meant, or at least could eventually have the potential for meaning, that their life was in some way exceptional, that they were wrong, obviously wrong, laughably wrong, to ever believe that it existed. If I couldn’t write — not physically or in the sense of being able to find the time or the ideas in order to produce writing, but in the sense that I wasn’t very good, wasn’t brilliant — it would be like finding out for certain that there is no afterlife, that God doesn’t exist, that all the times I thought I had really hurt someone or made a fool of myself, and then reassured myself that I was just being neurotic about it and that that neurosis about it was actually a part of my intelligence and charm, that actually I had just really hurt them and made a fool of myself and that I wasn’t neurotic or intelligent or charming. If I couldn’t write, not only would that fact obliterate a large percentage of my soul, it would obliterate the vicarious kind of proxy comfort that I took from feeling that I was at least someone who worried about being able to write. If you worry that you can’t write, you might take solace in remembering that that worry is probably integral to being someone who can and does write, and that all writers have had the same worry. If you know you can’t write, then you can’t even worry about it any more, and the metaphorical path to being a good writer, although previously it may have been arduous and hard work and laden with all kinds of personal crises that you’d trip over, becomes closed which is much worse. The smallest things can make me feel like I can’t write, like for example just then when I had to go to theasaurus.com to find another word for strewn. It frightens me the fact that all I have to do is type t into the search bar and the website comes up I’ve used it so often.
So I don’t write because I imagine opening the document back up and reading over what I wrote last time and hating it all. I try to carry myself like resilient and self-assured but one sentence that when I wrote it I thought it was good but when I look at it again I think it’s awful and everything I’ve written that I ever thought was good, in fact, everything I’ve done, everything I am, that I think is good, is awful, and I’m personally even more awful for ever thinking it was good. At which point I tend to retreat to this secondary kind of reserve delusion that because I try to project confidence and talent while inside constantly teetering on the verge of total self-possession collapse, and that I’m such a delicate little prima donna child with regards to the quality and usefulness of what I write, that that’s something that I may have in-common with artists, the fact I go through such a ridiculous procession of thinking enough to accredit me as could write or should write, as actual and well-documented real artists have gone through the same ridiculous thinking procession also. A strange paradox whereby the more I worry about being able to write and so don’t write the more convinced I become of the necessity and goodness of my writing, even though it doesn’t exist. I daren’t read any of this back, but remembering basically what I’ve just written I think it sounds like delusion and the comfort of a specific kind of delusion, delusion of artistic ability, in a nutshell, where the less proof you have of your ability the easier it is to believe the ability is real.
Which alongside the fact I’ve been moving house and travelling to see family and started back at work means I haven’t written as much as I should lately.