I am shit at writing.
In school I was led to believe that I could write, but I couldn’t. What I could do was string vocabulary words together while following a formula dictated by that year’s teacher. I put lots of words on lots of paper, but I never said much. Certainly never anything I cared about.
That’s not writing.
Writing is facing down a blank page and beating an idea into a shape worth sharing. I can’t do that consistently, and I can’t do it well. What I have been doing is letting the teeniest snippets of text get out while I throw out most with the rationalization that I’m “editing” when all I’m doing is not finishing anything.
This is a problem for me, because I’ve always identified as a ‘writer’, and yet I don’t write. This blog, ostensibly a platform for writing, has become about link sharing with no real ideas of my own. Patches, who has claimed to me that he isn’t a writer, has done more writing than I have in years.
On my computer there is a folder named “Writing.” It has a dozen half started pieces in it. I haven’t touched half of them since 2005. I have not touched any of the others since 2009, save one 10 page work that took me 2 years of half-assing to get to a point I declared “finished.”
Enough is enough.
November is a month when a lot of people begin writing projects as part of NaNoWriMo. I have no notion of engaging fully in that pursuit—my writing muscles are too clumsy, and my time is too dear. But I am using this month as a starting point in getting those muscles into shape, and seeing what time can be found for it. My intention is to write something of decent length for a small column each week. I have no idea what. Most of it, I’m certain, will be crap. But the only way to get better at this is to do it.
I’m shit at writing.
But I can get better.