Here I am attempting to write a novel not knowing even distant cousin of confidence in being published. In spite of living the curse of needing to spew ideas out, I have caught myself writing little for days at a time. Being this way continually draws my attention back to clients coming to sessions with little to say. To a person, I figured each was more hesitant at dealing with themselves than not having anything to talk about. Discovering what I’m avoiding is the key.
Not unlike the relief a few of my clients knew during the course of therapy, my disgorging a whole set of fantasies sets off a buzz, interior to my being. It is a churning mix of settings, conversations and characters that I repeatedly have to corral. Every attempt at sorting and mixing those ideas out onto the pages so the reader sees what I have imagined puts me at a trying distance from my comfort in being out with a SWATeam. Don’t shove that image to the side, as I was out with a few of those in years past.
Why bother writing if I can’t find prestige and money? Right? I can’t deny those hopes but those emotionally laden motivations have proven a problem. A client demanding admission to the psych unit and then putting a short knife to my throat after I said “No,” wasn’t that difficult since I knew that person simply had a friend staying on the unit. I had to do an admission, then, but not so that person could leave whenever. Saying, “Yes,” to the demand the knife fell to the floor. A short time later, though, I was writing out a legal hold forcing that person to stay a longer than planned.
Writing stirs up other threats, seated deep within me. Early on, my efforts to begin writing expressed too much of my obtuse joy in philosophy. I know, in essence, philosophy can be a powerful thread in any work. Read Jean-Paul Sartre’s play, “No Exit” and I am rather confident you will understand my point.
By tossing these struggles out into a public arena the exposure could become overwhelming. My refuge I hope, though, to turn this something healing. Not because I am published but by facing into the angst I live out a healing of that insecurity.
No matter what I attempt to portray in my writing, aspects of me are somehow linked in. Some of me is chagrined. Other aspects of whatever self is feel smug about their being seen. So Freud, my egotism is definitely rooted in the problem.
Like everyone else, I’ve known a few intense struggles. All of my writing efforts, infused with a need to succeed, have always attracted attention – always. Not all of that scrutiny has felt positive. Rather than getting in the way, those pesky urchins are predisposed to tripping us up from behind. Many of my pesky imps, scampering around the edges of my life are bent on keeping me certain that I can’t write. I suspect this is precisely why my efforts have consistently been so slow!
As I’ve stumbled down the path of writing, I know I am not unique in this dysfunctional jockeying for attention. However, as long as I keep lusting after anyone’s attention, my motivations to write are kept distorted. Those few friends offering encouragement and suggestions, usually, fire up my desires to write. Their attention isn’t garnered by my efforts, but freely handed too me without a request. Yet, I still catch myself slumping and I suspect that sink hole is my fear of not living up to what I see in their words, faces and hear in their voices. There in lies my problem. Oh, dear Freud you’ve snuck up on me again. I have to admit that you’ve caught me glossing over their friendship with my projections. That’s the worst offense I’ve caught myself at in years.