And then back again

After a 3 years’ absence, I’ve decided to re-enter the blogosphere but with a different purpose. I simply want to write, and I’m tired of writing in my head. Initially, this blog was to be a resource to me and anyone who happened by, a writing resource with links to websites and other blogs devoted to the art and science of writing. I wanted to be useful. I didn’t want to write about Me. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in Me. But recently I finished reading Quiet by Susan Cain and now that I have a better understanding of myself (shy, sensitive introvert that I am), I want to make the jump from thinking nobody would care to I don’t care if nobody would care … about Me. I want to write.

Writing used to be a way to hide from a world that frightened and confused me. I was very introverted as a child, no doubt in part because I needed but didn’t get glasses until I was 10. Everything scared me. Life scared me. And yet there were times when I could act outgoing, although I don’t think anyone much liked me when I was like that. I was very emotional, would cry if anyone looked at me the wrong way, and crying wasn’t something tolerated very well in my home. It was a sign of weakness. Which meant I cried a lot.

I wrote trying to imagine having some control over my life, wanting to believe I had a better relationship with my family than I did. Wanting to believe that at the end of the day, they loved me. As a young adult living away from home, I wrote in journals, trying to decipher the world around me. I had moved to a place radically different from the one I grew up in. I embraced “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” and spent too many years making a mess of myself. And writing very little.

I went back to school, took writing classes, tried using my writing as I had in the past, to work through and survive both physical and emotional trauma. What I always lacked was confidence. I never wrote with any real confidence in my writing. When anyone did try to support me (most often, a teacher), I almost literally ran the other way. I don’t know what I was afraid of: most likely, failure, but what kind of failure? I grew up feeling like a fraud, and I still harbor some of that today. I’m afraid I will disappoint. I disappoint myself every day, but I’m used to it.  I hate disappointing others. And without confidence in myself, I couldn’t very well use the support given to me. Only a fraud would do that.

So now, decades later, I have very little to show for my writing. I’m way past the halfway mark of my life, and I do have many regrets, not the least of which is I didn’t write more. I might have had a different story if the internet had been around when I was young and isolated. Although there is a lot of crap out there, I’ve come across writers that I never would have known if it wasn’t for the internet. They are not all published writers, but they write. They seize the opportunities that the internet provides. I think some of them might even be shy, sensitive introverts like myself.

I have regrets and some of those regrets I can do nothing about. But the regret that I didn’t write more … I don’t have to die with that regret. That one I can change.