I think about writing a lot. I have a note in my phone with so many bulleted ideas for blog posts, ideas for more sections in my book, ideas for erotic stories, I even have pages in every notebook on my desk titled “Blog posts.” So many in fact, I am sure if I just methodically took each one and wrote the post or story, I would have a very full content calendar indeed! But if you peruse any of the places I publish those works, you’ll see the truth is, maybe my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Maybe my ideas are just that, simple ideas, passing fancies, things I WISH I could write but never will. But then again, maybe not.
I think I’m a decent writer. I’m certainly not trained and definitely have a lot to learn, yet I think people can hear my voice and know who I am through my words. I try to be my most authentic self when I am clacking away at the keys of my MacBook. Maybe that’s what makes it so difficult to write sometimes. For me, writing is almost always about putting myself out there. Telling the world what makes me tick, what makes me think, what makes me hot and bothered… writing is a soul-baring and vulnerable practice and it sometimes just feels like too much.
Other times it’s not enough! Sometimes I want to sit down and think and cry and feel and write it all out until I am empty and ready to be refilled with more joy and pain and love and all the feels. But especially after two years of a crazy pandemic world, a world in which my life has been turned upside down more than a few times, that desire isn’t strong enough to overcome the parts of me that are tired and feel like it’s all just “too much.”
Yet, I identify as a writer. I have for a long time now. I have always used writing as a way to help myself sort out the world around me and how I feel about it. Explore the questions in my head, ask myself for the truth, then when I could, share it with others. How does one feel like a writer, but never write?
Thankfully I follow a lot of other writers and content creators on social media and I know I am not alone in this plight. There are so many jokes and memes out there about writing, about thinking but not actually typing, that I know my story is common enough. That helps. And also, it doesn’t. Mostly because my story is my own and the pressure I put on myself is singular in that I am feeling it, not watching it pass by me in a meme.
Quite a few years ago now, probably around the time I decided to start this blog in addition to the erotica one (www.lustitude.com), I went to Thailand for an incredible week-long writing retreat. I had become friendly with another writer on a woman’s travel site, and she was hosting and teaching at this retreat and I figured WHY NOT! Why not indeed! It was such a lovely week, a week where each activity took me deeper into the realization that writing really does and should have a prominent place in my life. A time when I received such great and positive feedback it made me think, you can do this! I told bits and bites of my story and was told, “We want more!” It was incredibly validating.
Coming home from that week, I had so much strength and so much conviction, I set up a writing station at my kitchen island, put on my sunlamp (it’s very dark in Berlin in the winter!) made my coffee, and wrote for at least two hours a day! In those dark but joyful months, the majority of what will hopefully finally someday become my memoir was written. But it eventually came to the parts of the story that were more difficult than others to tell. Parts of the story where I’d have to reach deep and remember things, better left unremembered, places I wasn’t ready to go, and then the book was put off to the side.
I kept writing though, but now it was the blog, because “everyone knows” you have to have an audience to sell a book, and I needed to create an audience for this work in progress that is sitting on the computer quietly judging me for the neglect. Blogging is also, (mostly) a more immediate way to get feedback and validation on your thoughts and ideas. While the blogging community is less apt to comment these days than in my early days, it is still a much quicker way to speak out, speak up and know someone is paying attention than a book that is sitting unfinished in the Scrivener files.
I have come to love the blogging community of which I am part. I love that this blog has touched enough people’s lives that it has been in two different Top 100 lists for three years a row! I am blown away by that, especially because this part of my writing is not the sexy writing blog, and the lists are top sex bloggers. But thankfully my take on relationships, non-monogamy, and being a sexual woman, speak to enough people in that space, that they let me stay! (YAY AND THANK YOU!)
It was difficult to sit down and write today. I am currently in Costa Rica for about 6 weeks. I’m staying with friends who are more like roommates and don’t need to be entertained or to entertain me, so I have nothing but time and beautiful vistas to work with. But it would have been easier to lay on the bed playing solitaire on my phone than move to the lanai, look over the amazing mountain to the bay and sit here and write! I am not even writing about anything that is on any of those long lists blog post ideas… I am just blathering on about NOT writing!
I don’t do resolutions or annual goals anymore. I don’t find the “pressure” and negative self-talk that comes when those things aren’t followed up on successfully to be good for my mental health. But, I do believe in taking care of myself, in being honest with myself and those around me, in doing things that challenge and scare me. Writing, for me, does all of those things. It satisfies a place inside me that nothing else can, it helps me show myself and anyone else who might need to hear what I have to say, another point of view, maybe something they can relate to that helps them cope better. (I hope so!)
It scares me. Maybe that’s really the deal. If I finish my book, what if it’s awful and no one cares that I put my heart and my life out there for people to consume and decide it’s not worthy? The biggest parts of me don’t believe that will happen, enough people resonate with this blog that I think others will resonate with the whole story, but fears are seldom rational and often we’re as afraid of success as failure. (Well that took a turn I wasn’t quite expecting! LOL)
In an effort to be true to me, in an effort to care for myself better, in an effort to grow as a liberated sexual woman in a world where that is not always ok, I am going to write more. Maybe not every day, but every few days. Maybe not all long posts where I just can’t stop talking, maybe just working on the memoir which you won’t see for years still, but I want to be putting words out there regardless. (Part of how I got this far today was by reminding myself it didn’t have to be a long post, it just had to be writing! And look I’m already about to make my average post length which is between 1200 and 1500 words!)
Writing is a part of me, and this year, despite the past two difficult years, maybe because of them, I want to be even more fully integrated into myself and who I know I am… and I am going to write about it as I go!
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