these unruly creatures.

why do I blog? why do I write?

I keep coming back to this, it seems. like a vulture circling a carcass, spiraling around and around and around till once again I get close enough to ask myself: why?

because it seems to me that if there is not a why perhaps I should not be doing it.

It started as a way to process, to think out loud in a way. to ponder and doubt and wrestle. and to do it publicly, on the internet, for some strange reason. why it feels more real this way, I don’t know. maybe because I hoped that I would find someone who would say, me too. maybe you are my cloud of witnesses. maybe because it scares me, sometimes, and so I close my eyes and click publish, because I do not want the fear to hold me back.

it was a hobby. the view count hovered around one. then, I went public. shared on my facebook. told friends. tweeted links. posted more. did link-ups. and somehow, somehow, people liked what I said sometimes and shared posts and the view count when up and the subscriber number inched up and each increase felt like a pat on the back, if I’m being honest.

I wrote. I kept writing. then, I started dreaming. I realized, I didn’t dream. I wasn’t a dreamer. and so I let myself dream, wild and crazy and impossible dreams. dreams that involved more readers and more words. maybe, even, there were dreams about a book with my name on it nestled onto a bookshelf somewhere, someday.

then, somehow, my words dried up. I started asking myself – how dare I call myself a writer? when I am not even writing? these dreams, you are not making them happen. they will never happen.

all that is to say, I have not yet figured out how to allow my dreams to exist without feeling like a failure for not actively working towards them.

people say to chase your dreams. to drop everything and go into a full-on dead-out sprint after them. I don’t know how to chase these dreams; I’m still learning how to allow these unruly creatures to take up space in my head. and running, by the way, is something I tend to dislike.

how do I make this happen? do I really want this to happen? can I make this happen? is it possible? and then, the doubt sneaks in. I’ve never been very good at sealing off the weak places in my heart and the questions crawl through the cracks and take up residence.

am I good enough? who would ever, ever pay me to write? or read what I’ve written? you’re not a writer. you’ve never taken a writing class. you don’t have a degree in this, or experience in writing, or barely even experience in life. how dare you call yourself a poet? oh, darling, stop deluding yourself. you’re not good enough.

(do you see how it is easier to not dream? to  not cling to those hopes? it is easier to be disappointed, I think sometimes.)

so I let the words fall silent, because if I am not writing then I am not chasing this dream and I am not failing.

yet, the siren song of syllables calls me back time and time again.

here I am. caught in the struggle. learning how to hope that dreams will not be impossible, in time. learning how to want big things, while being content with this small space, these humbles words. learning that I am allowed to dream, and also allowed to let my dream rest and breathe and grow and wait. learning that I these words, they may never be more than scribbles on the page of my legal pad or pixels on your screens, and that is okay.

and it seems I am back where I began, with my cloud of witnesses watching as I question and doubt and struggle and close my eyes and hit publish.

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3 thoughts on “these unruly creatures.

  1. Thank you, Hannah, for being so honest about writing. I guess being a writer or just the act of writing has different phases, and doubting yourself and what you’re doing is one of them. And as you say, you might need such times of doubt and questioning to realize how writing still draws you, how you still have words in you that you need to say.
    Maybe taking a step back will help you realize why you’re doing it. Getting away from the addiction to view count, followers etc. and rediscovering that passion for writing which got you started in the first place. Then start writing. If you’re not there yet, then wait a little longer. As hard as it may be, the waiting will surely bring forth beautiful results. As least that’s what I am hoping for, a fellow “waiter”.

  2. I have wrestled with this more than a time or two myself….I think some part if me is always wrestling with it, to be honest. Your words spoke to my heart – that’s the “why”.

  3. Watching phenomenal sunset with my kitty and reading your phenomenal words…carry on creator of siren syllables.
    Love you,
    Grandma K

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