“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

I am absolutely terrified, nay, let me say HORRIFIED by the very idea of this blog.
Isn’t that interesting…

I’m not really sure what I am so afraid of.

  • Making a fool of myself by saying, or worse – WRITING, something stupid
  • Posting some thing that will “come back to bite me in the ass”

When I decided that I would … leap in… to the blogosphere, I thought long and hard about doing it anonymously.
I thought that might sidestep this fear…this…this abject freaking TERROR of sending my thoughts out into the world.
I may tell you, some day, why I almost created a blog under the name Mulligan.

But obviouswpid-dsc00113-2012-08-5-14-47.jpgly, I decided to just “be me” and carve out my own lil spot here on the weeb.
I decided that if I’m really going to do this, I would like it to be honest.  I aim to strive for the loveliness and grace of blogs like that of the fabulous Eugene Stickland.

This post will not be lovely.
This post will get me over the fence of fear.
If you would like to come along – hit the MORE button….

Here we go…
The first thing I have to let ‘er rip on is…
my fear
of writing.

Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve had plays and a novel and other bibs and bobs of work go out into the world but… here’s the thing, writing still scares the shit out of me.

See… now right there… Pam, you swore…
Do you want to go back and erase that or let it stand?
Is this going to be a big ole sweary blog?

No. Though I may let rip with a curse now and again, I don’t think it will be all sweary.
Nor will it be all sappy/heavy/sad/morose/angry/sweet/positive/negative…

It won’t be ALL anything.
I hope it will be…

That’s all.

It will be about whatever I’m thinking about or looking at or dreaming of or… That sort of thing.

And the thing I’ve been thinking about A LOT lately is…
How very strange the world is.
How afraid we all are.
How we try to protect ourselves so much.
But, from what? From bullies and identity thieves and “the terrorists” and the approaching apocalypse or … whatever?

I think that most of us, those of us not struggling to simply stay alive – to not be killed in a war or some random act of violence,
are all really just trying to protect our selves from being hurt.

Now, I don’t think of myself as a sensitive delicate flower or anything.
I also don’t think of myself as a coward, BUT… I’ve been noticing the fear I carry around.
There’s the worry – worry about money, about whether the words I do manage to get on to the page are any good… and so on and so on
But there is also this FEAR gripping me these days about … speaking up.

I am cowering in a strange way.
Which is no good for a writer – especially the type of writer that I strive to be.

Writing is a crazy thing to do in many ways. It’s a dangerous thing – or at least it has always seemed that way to me.

When I was a kid, I started writing things down. Things that happened in my family. Things no one outside of the family was supposed to know about. Things that we pretended weren’t even happening. I wrote these things down – and that made them REAL.
As I scribbled the words on the page I knew it was incredibly dangerous. I did it anyway.

I wrote things down.
I read these things over silently and, if I could, I read them out loud.
The words on the breath, carried the stories of our life out into the world.

i wrote it.
i read it.
And then, i burned it.
i ate it.

I had to.

I knew that if anyone found these scribblings… the world would end.

I wasn’t afraid that I would get a beating. Beatings were survivable.
The thing I was most afraid of was…

The world would end because words have the power to make people see the TRUTH and … what if the people around you can’t handle the truth?
What if the truths you need to tell are too heavy?

I had to see the truths of my childhood and I had to burn them or take them into my body.

But these truths were too much to let out into the world. The world would rip open and blood would seep out and … and… and this writing, these words, these stories, they might kill someone.
Not me. That wasn’t what I was worried about.
I was afraid that these particular truths would kill…
my mother,
or my aunties,
or the other grown-ups in my life who thought they were doing such a bang up job of protecting me.

Oh see there it is… the thing that stops my pen…stops my typing fingers…stops up my mouth and closes my throat and brings on the shakes…

Somebody might get hurt.

Back then, I thought if anyone knew the secrets I felt compelled to write out, they would take us away.
Take me and my sister away from our mother.
I thought that.

But still, I had to write it down.

They were the most important things.

I needed to write about it all in order to understand what was happening.
I still write about things I don’t understand.
Things I need to figure out.

When I was a kid, the words turned to incantations to keep us alive.
I still believe that.
The truth is what keeps us all alive.
Not “the facts”.
The truth.

And all of this is to come to one point, and I’m almost there, honest.
I would like this blog/space/place to be a place of calm and thought-fullness and honesty.
I would like to speak often about writing and about living this lovely, wild life of mine.

I didn’t mean to write such a long post.
I hope in the future I will be able to say things more concisely.
But I needed to POST something and hop over that big fear fence that was GROWING BY THE HOUR.

Was it Mark Twain who said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

I wanted the first “real” post in this space to be about writing – but that FEAR thing had me by the throat and refused to let go so I had to tackle it and, as it turned out, that was just as well.
what I really want to say is:

If you are going to write – tell the truth.

I’m not saying it all has to be some heavy, purging, picking our scabs ugly business.
But make it true.
Make it true … from you.

And it will be one of the hardest, scariest, fabulously joy-filled thing you ever do.

go easy -pam

7 Comments on ““I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

  1. thanks for this babe!

    I needed to read this today…been wondering about truth and writing and all those big questions and insecurities and, and, and….
    oh…that rat-bastard fear…always lurking ’round somewherez

    (that’s my big ole sweary comment)


    • oooh do I hear ya!

      I’m gonna put on my big boots today and STOMP that rat bastid!

  2. You go girl…from what I can see, you are doing a great job so far! I “hear you” about the fear thing. I’ve already written stupid stuff on my blog that I’m sure will haunt me…but it’s ok. What the heck…at least it’s honest. I might throw in a swear word or two now that you’ve shown me it’s ok. 😉

    • Ruh-roh – have I started a “potty mouth Pams” outbreak?

      But seriously… that fear is interesting, eh? The blogs I LOVE are the ones that are open and honest, the places where I can really hear and thereby come to trust the writer.

      I shall strive for that.

      And I shall pop on over and seek out this so called “stupid stuff” on your site…mwah-ha ha! I’m betting it is more like “pulling no punches stuff”

      onward -p

  3. Hey, girl. Great post! I can dig the fear and do on a regular basis. I wasn’t brave enough to use my real name. But it is a truth that I am dizzy. 😊

    Sometimes — a lot of times — I don’t know what to say. So, I just play Music. Sometimes that says more than I ever could.

    Thanks for checking out my blog. Hope you had a great day! 💋

    • Hey Miz Dizzy. Thanks for stopping by. I LOVE that bee post on your blog.

      I’ve much yet to explore and plan to visit often.

      • Shucks, thanks!

        My blog is weird and, well, dizzy. I hope you like it and it makes ya feel like you belong… Or, at least, an absence of fear? 😊 lol 💋

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Starting Over

Because there's never enough time to do it right the first time but there's always enough time to do it over

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Cathy Standiford

Historical fiction, poetry, essays

Keeping the Dream

The Healing Journey and Covert Abuse

Starting Over

Because there's never enough time to do it right the first time but there's always enough time to do it over

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Cathy Standiford

Historical fiction, poetry, essays

Keeping the Dream

The Healing Journey and Covert Abuse

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