I have said it before and I will probably say it over and over again – there is nothing more terrifying than a blank page.
And yet, when I think overthink that statement I realize that it’s not really true. Spiders terrify me. The terrible thoughts of death and destruction of the things and people I love – that’ terrifying. But a blank page?
It just makes me uncomfortable and squirmy inside. It fills me with something that feels like hope and revulsion all at once, like I don’t know whether to cry tears of joy that I’m lucky enough to even have the chance to write – to be educated and free and creative – or if I’m going to throw up because I’m so filled with doubt and self-loathing that it actually makes me feel sick sometimes.
So instead, I do what I can to ignore those feelings. I do what I can to push through whatever it is that is holding me back and just do it. Like Nike. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but either way, my fingers get to moving over the keyboard and sometimes that’s all it really takes to open up and let out whatever is in there lurking and waiting to breathe.
There is nothing more terrifying than a blank page.
So why do I do it? Why do I keep trying? Why do I stay up nights, sometimes until three or four in the morning, slaving away at something that probably no one will ever read? I’ve lost countless hours of sleep over secret words, and even though a part of me knows it’s sort of ridiculous – I’m a grown woman with a child I need to take care of, so I had better take care of myself – this is how I take care of myself. Because there are these people that live in these places inside my head and they want to come home. And until I dig them out of their graves, they’re going to be in there screaming at me. They scream and they scratch and kick and they bite. They are never nice until the dirt comes off, and even then.. even then.
The people are running for their lives toward a future that is a vacuum for hope and the zombies are right on their tails.
And I’m down in it.