Some Thoughts From an Introverted Writer Who Consistently Overshares

Photo credit: Calum MacAulay on Unsplash

I wish writing was the hardest part about writing. Writing is the easy part. The difficulty lies in sitting down to do so — day after day — no matter what. It’s removing internal hurt deep within you, reliving it and painting with it. Being willing to sharpen words and shove them into a reader’s jugular. Not only that but you have to have the stomach for the ensuing aftermath also.

Anyone can put words down on paper. But to make a story come alive? Have an audience experience it rather than just read it? That’s a whole ‘nother story. There’s very few things I find it difficult to write about. But even fewer are the things I write that I want to talk about after or discuss with you in detail. I wrote about it because I couldn’t find a way to talk about it or nobody was listening when I did. To get it all out in one sitting — without interruption.

One of the ironies of writing is how the prospective thought of everyone you’ve ever met reading what you’ve written can be as terrifyingly painful as the one of nobody reading any of it at all. Why does having others read it and say nothing at all feel easier than them reading it and complimenting it? Because to write is to basically invade your own privacy. It’s self consuming.

The hardest part about writing is showing others parts of yourself and having them think they therefore know the whole you. You become who you write as. A name on a page or a screen. Dismiss-able at a moments notice. Easily forgotten or moved on from with one false move. One strong stance another takes personally and you’ve lost them forever. That’s how you’re remembered.

It’s fun to tell stories we’re the hero of or ones where we defeat the villain. But what about the ones full of failure, where we fell flat on our faces? Ones without the happy ending everyone hopes will provide some hope to their own. I’ve been exercising demons regularly through this craft for awhile now. While it gets easier, it’s rarely easy. Even when it flows easily — the cleanup is usually brutal.

I spent so much of my life trying to be someone my parents could be proud of. Only to come here and publish my biggest mistakes, worst moments and most embarrassing shortcomings as a man, to entertain the general public and experiment with it’s therapeutic value. I willingly bleed words and thoughts I wouldn’t otherwise share elsewhere. Clearing out the buildup of toxins helps.

I write like this because it’s the only way I know how to. They say write what you know about. I know a little about a lot but a lot about very little. I know a little about life, a little about writing. I know a lot about pain. I’ve lived with it often and was a source of it for others for a very long time. I know about drugs and the inevitable tragedies that come with them. I could leave a detailed Yelp review of every funeral home within a five mile radius of me.

All I know is my truths. Those deep within me. The ones I don’t even know are there until they spill out of me without warning. I have no choice but to let them out and while I’m at it — I share them with those interested in reading them. I see who relates and who has felt the same. It’s not always easy but it’s necessary. It’s the only thing I know and everything I’ve come to love.