Maybe I Suck

You've heard about successful writers who wrote only on napkins, or tiny notebooks, every chance they had, while working fourteen hours a day, raising ten kids and volunteering at their local homeless shelter. The point of their stories is to make other writers feel like shit when they don't write.

Today, I found myself with a slice of time to call my own and, of course, sat down to write. I started working on a blog post explaining my absence, but I stalled before I wrote a word. Did I want to apologize for not being here, say I'd be coming back, finishing this story or that novella? Did I want to talk about publishing deals or plans for a new website design? Did I want to thank the people who still come here despite my recent lack of new posting (I really am grateful to all of you) or, did I want to just admit that I am tired? Tired from working non-stop, traveling constantly, expending all of my energy on a day job I perform for the money. I sold out to suckle upon the fatted tit of corporate America and I am too exhausted to sugar-coat it today. Too exhausted to write.

All my favorite writers say they write everyday. I admire that, and when I don't write daily, I stop calling myself a writer. Unable to produce new words, I read old, filed away, story beginnings. I tell myself I am looking for something worthy of posting on the website, or something to spark an idea, but I am really looking for a reason to keep writing, to not give up. I find snippets of ideas, sometimes whole pages, more often paragraphs. I find breakups and surviving, sex and memories. I find funny things, painful things, and I find this, filed in August, 2006 and forgotten about.

Working Story Title - The Church

I’d seen him in the village. He was hard to miss. Heathcliff, Lord Byron, Jim Morrison; all my girlhood fantasies rolled into one tragically beautiful package. Dark, lanky, foreign; his lonely, haunted air captivated me from the first time I saw him riding his bicycle through the grove of olive trees near the town’s 500 year old church.

I saw him in the square, in the park, down by the river. Once, in the flower shop, he brushed against me but he never looked at me. I knew his eyes were so dark they were almost black because I’d watched him often, growing bolder the more time passed without him catching me spinning my lustful castle in the sky all around him.

He had a faraway dreamy quality about him. He looked bored, yet snapped with energy. He was always alone.

I never had the nerve to follow him home though I ached to climb whatever stairs led to his house, knock on his door and throw myself at his feet, confessing weeks of lustful fantasies, begging him to fuck me.

When I finally met him, it turned out I could not utter a word until he demanded it.

“Yes,” I screamed.


  1. I write every day, or almost every day, only because I am forced to.

    What you say about losing your identity as a writer if you don't write every day reminds me of a discussion I got into with some professional musicians about my uneasiness at calling myself a musician. At the time I was playing somewhat regularly, practicing a few times a week, rehearsing with the band once a week, playing gigs every so often. But I wasn't very good, wasn't very focused, the lack of focus preventing me from being very good. People at the music conference asked if I were a musician. I would pause and say... I play music. And one of the professional musicians dismissed my distinctions and said it was a question of identity, of who I was, not of how often I practiced or how well I played or if people gave me money for it.

    I've come to terms with that, even though now I play barely more than 1 week a year. My instrument, the music, they are all part of who I am. Just as being a writer was, during those long, silent decades of being imprisoned by writer's block.

    You are a writer. This is who you are. We all sell ourselves at times, disappearing under a whore's heavy make-up and false words. But we're still there. Underneath, we are still there. And the snippet you gave us from 2006 leaves no doubt in my mind that you are still there, too.

  2. og~

    While I agree with your musician friend intellectually, I still have trouble calling myself a real writer when I let other things get in the way of writing.

    Thanks for the encouragement all the same.

    I bet you have many such snippets, tucked away and almost forgotten. Do they inspire you or haunt you?


  3. I don't write everyday either. I admire those who do, but that's just not for me. Every writer has a different schedule (or lack thereof) that works for them.

    Don't feel bad about not writing. Happens to the best of us.

  4. TK...

    Thanks for leaving such a nice, encouraging note for a complete stranger.



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