When you tell someone you haven’t been writing as much lately, the go-to question seems to be, “Oh, you’re having writer’s block?” For me, I don’t think that has ever been the case. I know where I want my stories to go. That’s not the issue. I have pages and pages of notes for all my novels and shorts, and various outlines to guide my way. This brain never stops thinking up exciting and dramatic plots or characters. However, I have some actual health issues that do hinder me. One is Attention Deficit Disorder. Ever since I got off all medication some three years ago, I have gradually found it harder and harder to sit at a desk for longer than a half hour. It used to be I would write for hours every day. Now, I may get in an hour a week if I’m lucky. Granted, I work more to pay the bills, so I’m usually tired in my free time. It’s not that I don’t have that passion and desire to write within me, because I do (almost all the time). But sadly, forcing myself to sit in front of the laptop is rarely enough these days. It’s such a mental struggle, between the ADD and my anxiety disorder. That right there is my biggest foe, because, in my opinion, my anxiety has defined me so many times in my life. I rarely think what I’ve written is up to my high standards, no matter how many times I rewrite it, and this probably has to do my low self-esteem. I don’t look at myself and think, “I’m worthy.” At least, not in the general aspects of my life. And that’s what’s funny; I believe in my writing more than anything else about me. I may be my hardest critic, but I still have that faith deep down that I will succeed. One day (hopefully sooner than later), I will become a bestselling author. It’s just a shame – I admit it – that I can’t see my worth until that happens. My doubt is not in my eventual success; it’s in me as a person. I’m not confident in my strength to last long enough to see that day where I finish the book that will make me famous. I know it’s in me, that story, but will I get it out in time? Or will I simple destroy myself before then? Even as I read over this blog, I can’t help but think I’m giving off two conflicting personalities. I have not yet seen a doctor about my bipolar concern, but I would not be surprised at all if I have that disorder. I can say I believe I will win and be scared I will fail at the same time. That doesn’t seem right, does it? Aren’t those contradictory? I actually notice these sorts of things every week. My mood swings this way and that seemingly at random, and I will have two opposing views of things simultaneously. But I digress…
This was supposed to be an essay of sorts to encourage others who are stuck to get back on the computer (or find that pencil or pen, if you prefer things longhand), but I don’t think that’s the way it came out. If anything, it seems I have simply vented to myself, trying to make excuses as to why I have so many unfinished stories that I’m dying to complete but still haven’t. However, that being said, this outpour has also helped reignite my passion (not that it was ever dying), and so I believe I will switch to one of my novels after I sign off here. And, at the very least, this essay was as real as it was intended. Maybe not entirely clear, but real.
(By Nathaniel Lay)