Today is the first day that writing a blog post feels like a “have to” instead of a “want to” activity, in part because I know that hardly anyone (and oftentimes no one) reads these posts. I must admit that the prospect of having a chunky blog audience is alluring. Having a large readership would provide me with a powerful incentive to write even if I didn’t feel gung-ho when first creating each post. (Like exercise, I find that once I start writing, no matter how resistant I feel beforehand, I always feel better once I tap the keyboard for a measly few minutes.)
I am barely promoting this blog. Truth be told, I’m using blogging more for a daily writing practice rather than a lofty platform to reach thousands of readers. Blogging is more gratifying than journaling these days; I used to keep journals for years and I got burned-out on the process.
My blog is also a very convenient way to procrastinate focusing on the project of my heart, my book. So today instead of taking an hour or two to write a five-hundred-word blog, I will use this time to open my “Birth of a New Brain” file and read more of what I wrote over the past few years. I’ve only been able to read up to page eight, for it’s daunting material and it’s an intimidating task. I need to trust the process of writing and I want to trust my own capability as a writer.
As a voracious reader, I have noticed the rise of mediocre books now available complete with typos, syntax errors, crappy content, and amateur covers. (Yes, I sound like a snob, and I suppose I am one!) Virtually anyone can write a book and sell it to the public via Amazon and other internet avenues. If those books make it, why can’t mine? I must trust that my idea is valid; it’s also original, and while I won’t win the National Book Award anytime soon, my writing quality is solid. I remind myself that I didn’t buy my degree in English from the University of California; I earned it with blood, sweat, angst and a ton of writing.
Again, it all comes down to trust…self-trust. We can’t take our book accolades to the grave with us. I’ll give “Birth of a New Brain” my best shot over the next year, and if it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, I’ll know that I tried with all my heart, I trusted myself at long last, and that is what matters.