Monday, March 10, 2014

The Words Behind The Writing by Leanne Dyck

The Words Behind The Writing

Because learning didn’t come easy to me I internalized the sentence, ‘I am stupid.’ It was then and is now the music that plays in my head. I've spent most of my life looking for some way to make it stop. And I found writing. 

I say the wrong word; I take too long to answer; I mispronounce the word. I've spent too much time worrying about how I appear to others. 

How do I make myself heard, understood?  

My pen can express what my tongue trips over.

“Okay, you may find me odd. I am odd. But here read this.”

I study her face and gain validation. I know she’s impressed—I can see it. And it helps. Until, once again, inevitably that experience is drowned out by the steady drumbeat—I am stupid. I am stupid.

She can continue to tell me how good my writing is, how talented I am but I can no longer hear her.

If I could live in pen ink I would. I feel comfortable there. I’d curl up and rest contentedly forever in my computer keyboard—nestled inside the ‘U’ or the ‘C’.

And yet I have a husband who loves me, friends who support me. I know that doesn’t just happen. I tell others if you are in a supportive, caring relationship it is due in part because of what you’ve done, who you are:  karma at work. Healthy relationships don’t just happen you have to build and maintain them.

‘I am stupid’ is a familiar phrase. It’s helped to keep me small, keep me contained. Belief in it means I don’t have to grow. It’s the reason I fail. It’s the reason I don’t have to try. Others may have trouble locating the ugly part of themselves. But I know where mine lies. I can pull it out and examine it whenever I want—poking it, twisting it. Pain is an emotion that can block out all others. Self-inflicted pain means I’m the one in control. And in this way 'I’m stupid’ acts as my shield keeping me safe from anything anyone else can do to me. And when you are in a relationship with others there’s always a risk of pain.

And so I continue to write—a short story becomes a novella becomes a novel. I gain validation. Through the eyes of others, I see a different me—talented, capable, intelligent. But it is only a flash—gone too quickly. I chase it like a drug. Writing. Writing. Writing. Becomes my life.

that's me--naked

I worried that by publishing this story I went too far, exposed too much. But then I read an article by Bella Mahaya Captep...  
You cannot heal what you cannot see... Your negative habits and behavior patterns have their way with you--until you become conscious of them. You must first see them. Once you realize what's going on, they dissolve....If you're a writer wanting to tell your truth, showing up [naked]is a valuable practice.

Sharing my author journey...

And so...
Start a project, finish a project, make revisions on a project, send the project to a publisher--repeat.
What's so difficult?
Well, sometimes life--as in there's this interesting literary event that I must attend--and sometimes my muse--as in there's this shiny, new project that I need to start right now--gets in the way. That my friends is what happened this week.
In my defense, (not sure why I feel the need to defend, but I do) I did enter two writing contests this passed week. Great defense. Except that entering contests was my minor goal. My major one was finishing revisions. Um, yeah... And I'm working on them.
Let's see where I am next week, shall we?