Naming the Fear

{by Jo of Mylestones}

Sometimes I feel like the pit of my stomach is an airtight word container, precariously latched, desperately shoving against my heart to spill onto the open page. Sometimes my soul must labor to breathe because of thoughts lodged in my lungs, freed only in the coughing compulsion of tippity-tapping on the keys.

I don’t always feel it, but when I do, it nags at me until I can’t think of anything else but letting it out. And most of the time, I don’t even know what it is I’m unleashing, until it is there in front of me in words I can finally read.

But that’s nothing new, right? Just a common ailment of a writer? (Or in this case, of a girl who is still reluctant to call herself a writer or even admit that she wants to be one.)

What troubles me is how this feeling gets in the way of my daily life, how it diseases the moment I’m in. And what troubles me more is how in my melancholy, I savor these symptoms as if it is soothing to be sick.

I despise how easily I can disappear into my head and miss the rich flavor of the moment. I know I won’t be offered another taste of those sixty seconds, yet I persist in fasting from the present.

It strikes me at the library, surrounded by foam puzzles and board books. It strikes me at a party, surrounded by friends and frivolity. It strikes me on a run, in the car, in the middle of a conversation. It strikes me, and I think, “I must start writing, or I will explode.” (I am wrong about this. I will not explode. All that ever happens is that I grow weary of feeling on the verge of explosion.)

And here is the bottom line, if I’m really confessing, if I’m really naming the fear. I’m afraid that if I don’t let the container spring wide open and write, then I will never know what the deep-down me is trying to say. And if I don’t find out, if I (the daily I) do not listen to her, then no one will. She will never be heard.

And the thought of that fate–of never being heard–torments the writerly me. And the thought of the waste–of squandering the present pining over my desire to write, to be heard–torments the daily me.

:::

Jo has been writing at Mylestones since 2007.  Subscribe by RSS or by email.

Mylestones is the home of Flashback Friday, a chance to link up and share your past’s hilarity or heartfelt stories through photos or words.

Jo can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Story Editor: Heather King :: HeatheroftheEO

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16 Comments to “Naming the Fear”

  1. Today @StoryBleed – Jo from @mylestones on the writing mind and heart – http://ow.ly/4sBEh

  2. Alison Bolen says:

    Writers, you'll recognize this fear of ignoring the muse: http://bit.ly/hVpYPi (via @storybleed)

  3. Ajay Ohri says:

    RT @alisonbolen: Writers, you'll recognize this fear of ignoring the muse: http://bit.ly/hVpYPi (via @storybleed)

  4. RT @alisonbolen: Writers, you'll recognize this fear of ignoring the muse: http://bit.ly/hVpYPi (via @storybleed)

  5. Yes, yes and yes. I get this, I know this. Intensely. And I’m so glad to read your words and to know that others feel the same.
    Christine @ Coffees & Commutes recently posted..Stressed out

  6. Joanne says:

    RT @HeatheroftheEO: Today @StoryBleed – Jo from @mylestones on the writing mind and heart – http://ow.ly/4sBEh

  7. Joanne says:

    My post about writerly angst is up @storybleed! Naming the Fear | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/Okw1pHL

  8. Megan Jordan says:

    "My soul must labor to breathe bc of thoughts lodged in my lungs…" @mylestones on @StoryBleed http://bit.ly/f2hFRm

  9. Leigh says:

    RT @VelveteenMind: "My soul must labor to breathe bc of thoughts lodged in my lungs…" @mylestones on @StoryBleed http://bit.ly/f2hFRm

  10. Christine says:

    Yes and yes! @HeatheroftheEO: RT @mylestones: My post about writerly angst is up @storybleed Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/tDd7Cpz”

  11. Ostriches says:

    I loved this. Because this is me. This is my struggle, to live in the moment, to let my words out…to live in the moment. AHH! I’m going to RT this.
    Loved it Jo. Really.
    Ostriches recently posted..The Two Sides of Seaweed

  12. On writing for writers, featuring @mylestones http://ht.ly/4sVZr

  13. JoAnn Hallum says:

    read this! Naming the Fear | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/1aPWHqv via @storybleed

  14. RT @StoryBleed: On writing for writers, featuring @mylestones http://ht.ly/4sVZr

  15. Megan Jordan says:

    @schmutzie @the818 @sweetney We JUST installed that @StoryBleed! @mrlady did some kind of voodoo and it worked. http://bit.ly/f2hFRm

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