Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Blood

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed

I’m willing to bet many of us are familiar with this famous quote from Ernest Hemingway. It’s long been one of my personal favourites. There’s an argument to be made that Hemingway was perhaps tending a bit towards the dramatic on this one, but I myself have a penchant for drama so that probably explains the attraction. Although, when I say “drama” I mostly mean that I gesticulate wildly with my hands when I speak and like to yell Mean Girls quotes at people for no good reason. So that’s definitely not the same thing. Hear me out.

I’ve been at this blogging game for about six years now, and I’ve been writing since I was five. When writing is all you have ever loved to do, one would thing you would have learned something about it by now. I’m going to tell you something: I haven’t. I still don’t edit ANYTHING before I publish it. In high school, I used to write the essay and then write a fake essay with fake corrections to make it look like I’d done the work I was supposed to. What kind of arrogant a-hole writes a first draft and deems it the best draft?! Word to the wise: it is NEVER the best draft.

I’m full of excuses as to why I’m so profoundly lazy when it comes to my writing. Is it a time issue, or a lack-of-pen-and-paper issue? I could blame it solely on the fact that I have zero confidence and reading back what I’ve written will only result in me scrapping it altogether. There’s truth to that one. No matter how many people tell me I should be writing stories or children’s books or whatever, I put no stock in that. I keep writing despite the fact that I have no real talent for it. I keep writing and yet I put no effort into bettering my craft. I dismiss it merely as a way of working through my problems or laying out the illogical workings of my mind. So why do it?

I launched this blog last summer as a way of working through my depression, of laying it all out there about what I was going through. As a way of “bleeding” so to speak. But how much bleeding have I really done? Not much, if we’re being painfully honest. If I read back on the entries logged since last June, what I see isn’t blood. It’s my inner censor doing a fine job of shading my agony, angst, and darkness into something I deemed acceptable for public eyes. I didn’t want to depress people (ironic, no?) so I wrote with what I hoped was optimism—optimism that didn’t exist. I wrote from the surface of my pain, but I didn’t open any veins, didn’t dig too deep.

I’m deathly afraid that if I sit here and I bleed, I won’t stop. It’s the reason I’ll go to any length to avoid talking about my feelings to my friends, to my family, to my therapist. I’ll tell anyone who will listen about my irrational fears and anxieties and tripping over my own pants. But real feelings are something I continue to struggle with. Its not that I can’t articulate them, because I can. It’s because I choose not to, choose to believe that what I feel stays with me. Look at the constellation of scar tissue on my arms—that’s how I deal with feelings.

I guess what I’m trying to do is to apologize for leaving y’all hanging, for barely scratching the surface of whatever it is I’ve professed to explore. It’s just that I’m sorely afraid that if I sit down here and I bleed, I might bleed out.

TL;DR: Hemingway Probably Fought Bears in Hand to Hand Combat and I’m Afraid of Feelings.

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