I read a great post that asked the question, What makes a good writer?, and it included a great quote. The quote was “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” Chances are, you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
The post was great because it confronted the part about a real artist being “scared to death”. I would recommend reading this post as I found it interesting.
The reason I am writing is because it got me thinking about what I fear as a writer. I never feared rejection. Whenever I submitted something or got back a response it was more nervousness or an anxious feeling, but not fear. Whenever I got a serious case of writer’s block it was more frustration that confronted me. Yet there is one thing that I can think of that does give me a feeling that is close to fear. It is that I will lose the ability to write.
I’m not talking about suddenly forgetting to write, I am talking about not having the time or means. I have shared before that there was a time after my mother passed where I couldn’t write anymore. Part of it was due to a lack of desire, mixed with heartache, along with a sprinkling of not having time. This was, naturally, a dark time in my life, but one of the ways I got through it was by returning to writing, and putting my feelings to paper.
Do I believe there will be a time when I am unable to write? It is possible. My wife & I are expecting a child and I’m aware that they tend to take up a lot of free time 🙂 I know that there are probably more dark times in my future. Yet the thing that drives the fear away is that I feel like writing is a part of me. Not necessarily an appendage as those can be amputated, more like having a dry sense of humor. Try as you might & despite how many people dislike it, it exists none-the-less. When I was nearly lost in darkness writing was the light that helped me find my way. It has been a part of my life since the 2nd grade and no matter how far I have come since those days it has been able to keep up.
So I guess what I am saying is that I do fear that I may lose the ability to write, just as anyone who cares strongly about something fears they may one day lose it. That fear is confirmation that it means something to me. Through all the things I have lost in life the desire to write has always been by my side, so I believe that one way or the other it will be with me until I lay my head down for the last time.