How to Become a Word Launderer and a Fraud.

I’m a control freak. Honestly, I’m half ticked-off for even having to tell you about it. The admission makes me sound annoying and needy — and “spiritual” people who help others should, well, not be annoying and needy. Seriously, who’s going to accept counsel if I can’t keep it all together?

It’s not that way around my house, not controlled in the least. There’s laundry slipping off the sides of the couch. Yes, it’s clean. But the dishes in the sink number higher than leaves drowning at the bottom of my pool. Those aren’t clean.

I’ll get it done when I get it done.

My problem with control starts the second I touch the keyboard. With every confessionary word poured out, there are ten more tidied up — culminating into a twisted mess of social “appropriateness.” It’s not that the words aren’t true, just watered down — like censorship straight from the pits of hell.

This is exactly how to become a word launderer and a fraud.

I can think back to when the problem started and multiply the memory by a thousand. When I was six, a family member laughed at me when I couldn’t figure out a riddle. When I was in fifth grade, I cried right in the middle of a mental math contest, terrified to make a mistake. By the time I found out my ACT scores, I was convinced that everybody else had been handed the world on a platter.

Everything felt like a test then, and it still feels that way now. Never good enough, paired with a fine side of performance anxiety — my Achilles heel.

When you’re somebody who’s terrified to make mistakes, every spontaneous reaction feels dangerous. Every word typed presents its chance for a heinous rejection. Or even worse, a silent apathy.

Risk management is for the birds. In fact, I’m planning a revolt as I type. I’ll start by pouring a glass of wine and cracking open the movie-style box of Sprees I smuggled past the kids in my grocery bag. Then I’ll remind God how sorry I am (again) for putting up roadblocks to His inspiration. For a monster desire for perfection and ridiculous expectations.

And finally, I’ll write — until my brain goes mind-boggling numb, and I can’t produce anything except truth-in-the-raw. There’s nothing like getting back on the horse that bucked you, except fermented grape-happy this time.

Easy, ya’ll, that was a joke…

Does this sound like you on your writing journey? I want to hear all about it.

Photo Credit: Lacie Slezak

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