The Crippled-Pen Crew

They say to just write. As a writer, why does that feel like it should come more naturally than it does? Is this my old pal writer’s block? Or a new friend, The Imposter Syndrome? Or is it the gang of the ever-present, but never acknowledged: Laziness? Fear? Doubt? But if I were to truly believe any of what these characters have to say, “Maybe not today, now isn’t the time”, “Wait until you’re in a better mindset”, “You won’t make anything you’d be proud of anyway”, “Can you even put thoughts into words? You’re supposed to be a writer”. If I actually believed any of this,  why do I get the craving to create? To write? It seems as though whenever I begin, they’re the ones to speak first. 

Are you all here to protect me? Perhaps I should thank you. I appreciate it. I get it. I don’t want to make a fool of myself. I’m not the rebellious type. But the urge to break down your wall is stronger than any acceptance of your message. I’m not the rebellious type. But perhaps it’s time to type rebelliously. Because not writing, seems wrong. Not writing- It’s just not right. 

If you’re correct, Writers Block, Imposter Syndrome, Laziness, Fear, Doubt, riddle me this. You’ve been here all along. Before I could read, before I could write, I know you were there waiting for me or, would you say “watching over me”? Before I could read, I begged them to do it for me. When they could, they did. But I say, perhaps with some delusion, that I wasn’t one to push after the answer was no. So that was that. Riddle me this, Crippled-Pen crew, why was it that the sound of a typewriter or keyboard was always one of the most beautiful and soothing sounds I’ve ever heard? Why was I so willing to sit quietly in my room and settle for endless, meaningless scribbles over a text-only page of my childhood book just so that I could get the feeling of pouring my heart out into a hard-covered sanctuary? I hadn’t even yet been introduced to the 26 most versatile members of my village. 

You’ve all tried to trick me. Yes, I hear you, it was to protect me. Out of the kindness of a heart that only Writer’s Block can have. But you are mistaken. You are swayed. Your want is selfish. Don’t keep me in. Don’t try and persuade me this trap is where I belong. Because Maya Angelou didn’t listen to you, we are blessed to now know just why the caged bird sings. 

Taking on personas became a tool of yours. Somehow down the line, the first thought I had when I would ask myself why I couldn’t write was because I was too concerned about the judgment of others- from other people, from my family, from friends, from my parents. I wrote in the darkness of my bedroom. Under the cover of a blanket. Turning off all the lights every 4 minutes thinking someone was going to come in and thrash my sanctuary just as I was building it. But now I remember. When I wrote about movies that moved me, or when an idol of mine would pass away, or even a story out of an assignment- my mom would keep it. She kept them. My first fan. My biggest fan. I don’t know how I didn’t see it sooner. She bought me my first journal. She told me how to write daily. It may have been literally two sentences stating “Just write what you did today! Or how it made you feel”, but that created the foundation. Sure, I think it may have been a way to make sure I was staying out of trouble, but things happen for a reason, and I’m thankful for this one. My dad was the one who caught me writing in that storybook. Destroying the printed, paid-for page with incomprehensible scribbles of my own. He didn’t yell, he wasn’t even mad. I just remember him smiling. 

 

So here we are you guys. A new page. Just you and me. 

 

Where are you? Writers Block? Imposter Syndrome? Laziness? Doubt? Fear? 

 

Looks like I’ve left you behind. You’re on a different page. 

 

Thank you for being there for me, but there’s a reason I’ve come this far, even with you all building and rebuilding those walls. 

 

I’m a writer. 

 

Just wanting to write. 

 

Just writing to write.

JMP

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