Tuesday, January 17, 2012
What If I Could Never Write Again?
This statement made by the wife of a patient whose brain tumor had heightened his artistic ability on A Gifted Mind hit me hard. It's how I feel about writing. I would go through pretty much anything to write. If someone told me I could never write another word, I would feel as if I died. I know this about myself. One of my greatest fears is never being able to write another word.
I used to fear I didn't have enough talent, but I'm over that. I'm confident in my talent now. While I wish every word I wrote could be brilliant, I'm okay with knowing that that is an unrealistic goal. I can only write as well as I can write on any given day and trust that my best will be good enough.
I used to fear I would run out of ideas, but I no longer fear that either. On days when the ideas don't come my way, I feel confident it's just my brain's way of taking a rest, so it can give me something better later.
I used to fear that using my life to inspire my work might reveal things about me that would make people not like me. Letting go of that fear is on ongoing struggle. I find it sometimes interferes with my willingness to share my work. At times, it probably also causes me to hesitate when I try to write certain things. Yet, often the written word is the place where I feel the safest exploring that which makes me feel vulnerable. The idea of being vulnerable is never easy for me though I am working on it.
I've been writing my whole life. I tell myself stories to amuse myself as I go about most of life's activities. Somtimes these stories are good enough to make it to paper, but sometimes they just amuse me. I can't stop doing it. It's in me. It's who I am. I am a writer. I am an author. My biggest fear is that something will happen that prevents me from ever writing again. What would happen to me if some unseen hand or some unknown monster suddenly appeared to rip writing out of my life? For me never writing again would be a living death...
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.