All posts tagged confession

Writing + Fear

Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Chasing Neptune

There’s an idea in the creative writing culture that fear must be overcome, that you must be fearless to write well. I have a lot of fear, and I’ve pondered this a lot. And I’ve decided it’s bullshit. Okay, conditional.

I think that if you do not have any stress, any apprehension, any fear – whatsoever – while you’re writing, you must be doing something boring. I’ve written plenty of pieces with which I’m perfectly comfortable. The topic is approachable, the reader is well-defined, the purpose is clear. But it’s also boring. I can write about school and horses and nature all day long, but those subjects are safe. Too safe.

The true fun comes when I take a risk. By definition, a risk involves a hazard, a dangerous situation, the chance of loss. If I take a risk when I write, if I write about something personal, intimate, or metaphoric, something I know the reader will not understand properly (or maybe understand too well), I feel a bit of fear. While I write, my stomach turns and my lip curls and my fingers tap the keys quickly, as if they are burning coals. I like it. It’s fun.

Fear during the act of writing is positive. It’s energizing, validating.

But I’ll agree with the culture on the other point: the fear of starting to write is paralyzing.

This is my biggest obstacle as a writer. When I’m under obligation to write, whether it’s a deadline or a class or a promise to a friend, I can always get started. I’m one of those people who feels obligation much too strongly. But when I’m trying to write for me, I always let myself off the hook. Oh, you can totally play video games or hang out with a friend or throw the ball for the dogs – the writing will be there when you get back. But it’s never there, because I never start.

So what do I fear?

  1. Failure
  2. Sounding like an idiot
  3. Realizing I’m a horrid poet/fiction writer
  4. Losing my passion for an idea
  5. Ruining an idea with my clumsy writing

I could probably go on, but I like the number five.

I’ve tried different ways to get over this fear. I’ve made fake deadlines (but I always justify ignoring them). I’ve asked friends to pressure me (but they always fall for my justifications). I’ve tried to write crappy prose on purpose, just to start something, (but I can’t turn off my internal editor THAT much).

Once upon a time, I told myself that if I could just find out how my role model, or should I say idol?, did it, I could copy his methods and follow his advice. Well, I met my idol, and I asked him how he overcame the fear to begin writing. He told me that you just have to realize that you can do it. He said that if you can communicate, have a conversation and tell a story vocally, you can do it on paper. Logically, I realize this, but it doesn’t work for me.

I think I like the romance of  “suffering artistry” a bit too much. Many years ago, my idol also said that he found something romantic about self-destruction, or something to that effect. I can agree with him on that point, sometimes it’s kind of fun to watch everything, even yourself, burn.

But…eventually, the suffering artistry will turn to ash, and I’ll either have to pick up a pen or find another passion.

For now, I think I’ll cozy up next to the fire and write pointless blog posts.

Not a Normal Girl

Published Thursday, July 7, 2011 by Chasing Neptune

Tonight, I had an interesting conversation with someone who I have known basically my entire life. However, as he pointed out, we don’t really know each other very well at all. I don’t know what spurred his interest in knowing more about me. Well, I have a hunch, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. Let’s just say that his honesty surprised me. The conversation started in the typical way, “What have you been doing lately?” I answered, among other things, by saying that I’ve been playing video games. Why? I like to kill zombies. A few texts later, I received one of the greatest compliments ever, “You are not a normal girl.”

And no, I’m not being sarcastic. He really made my night. 🙂

Anyway, I’m not sure what exactly my purpose is in writing this post. Usually, I have a clear purpose. For example, my picky eater post was all about bitching out people who question my sense of taste. But this one, I don’t know. I guess I just felt like I needed to close a meaningful night with something thoughtful. After all, I’ve spent the rest of the evening making dinner plans with one of my best friends and discussing inspiration and creativity with two other great friends. Writing just felt…needed, you know?

Maybe that is one of the things that makes me “not normal.” I mean, being a “writer,” I know a lot of “writers,” and most of them feel better after writing things out. However, although the lifestyle of a writer seems spontaneous and creative and romantic, most people don’t feel comfortable turning their thoughts into words…let alone posting them in a blog for all the world to see. Then again, maybe I’m just arrogant and think that the world wants to hear all of my innermost musings. Psh.

De todos modos, in continuing with the spirit of the night, I think I will make a list of things that most people don’t know about me. Sure, I’ve already done a post of confessions, but I promise not to be redundant. So here it is written, ten things that make me “not normal,” ten little quirks of which I am proud, just for you. You know who you are.

  1. When I’m feeling really inspired, I like to write my ideas on my bathroom mirrors in dry erase marker. When I’m stressed, I write song lyrics. A couple of weeks ago, I did both in one night. My bathroom mirror still holds a four-step process for making a demon, and four lines from “Heaven Help Us” by My Chemical Romance.
  2. On my best days, I like to turn the surgical scars on my wrist into critters – stick bugs, butterflies, lizards, etc. This started when a friend doodled on me, and I just keep doing it when I’m extremely happy. I don’t know why.
  3. Similarly, I like to write bold words on my forearms or neck, but I’m seldom brave enough to do it. Every now and then, though, when I’m going to a concert or Chateau and feel really gutsy, I will.
  4. I really want to be one of those people that gets up at dawn and runs/jogs into the sunrise every morning…but I hate mornings and exercise.
  5. I refuse to drink/get drunk/party for two reasons. One, the people that I admire most in this world don’t drink. Two, I’m afraid that I would get caught up in the dark romanticism of self destruction.
  6. I have a world map on my bedroom wall. I have stars on everywhere that I have been and dots everywhere that I want to go.
  7. Even though I have had my braces off for almost five years, I still sleep in my retainers. When I speak with them in, I have a lisp. My roommates think it’s cute.
  8. I keep a journal, and in it I list positive things that happened to me, my mood at the beginning and end of the day, the color of the day, the song of the day, something that inspired me, something that I learned, something for which I am thankful, something I accomplished, and something I am anticipating. This began two years ago, when I would list three positive things that happened every day on my calendar. I still do that, too.
  9. I don’t dress like a “normal” girl my age. I refuse to wear sweatpants unless I’m going to bed or feel like total crap. I do not own a single pair of flip-flops. I think one of the best sensations in the world is the slight throbbing of the feet when I slip out of a pair of high heels, because if I spent an entire day in heels, it means the day was not wasted; I must have been doing something important.
  10. I have a huge sweet tooth. I hate to cook, but love to bake, especially from scratch. My favorite candy is Kit-Kats, although Reeses have been giving it a run for its money lately. And right now I really want to try the new Triple Chocolate Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

I am sure that there are people out there with very similar quirks and attitudes. However, I like to think that this combination, among other things, is unique to me. Call me a hipster or whatever other “non-conformist” label you kids use these days, but I love that I’m “not normal.” Also, I think that having pride in being my own person is important, and it is something that everyone should have. Everyone should be proud of who he/she is. Sorry, soapbox, give me one more, though…

I want to thank my true friends – the ones who want to know all these little quirks about me. Nowadays, there is so much drama and impersonal, technological bullshit that actual, personal connections are hard to come by. I am grateful for every one of you, because you make me feel special, you make me feel appreciated, and you make it so much easier for me to be me.

I guess that is the point of this post: Be proud of yourself and be thankful for those who make your pride possible.

Letters to those in my Inbox

Published Thursday, June 23, 2011 by Chasing Neptune

Dear Miss November,

You will never know how much I appreciate your enthusiasm and passion. I would not have survived senior year without my best friend. I am so thankful that we have managed to stay so close, even when everyone else fell off the map. You’re one of my favorite people.


Miss Way

Dear Mr. June,

Thank you for your honesty. You have always been such a good friend to me, and I know that I can trust you with anything. I love you like a brother, and I hope that is enough.


A Thankful Friend

Dear Miss April,

Thank you for listening to me and always understanding what I mean when I cannot find the words. You are more than my friend; you are my sister. I do not know where I would be without your encouragement. You are a constant source of inspiration.


Miss Neptune

And now for the hard part…

Dear Mr. February,

I could never say this to your face, because I would be too afraid of your response. However, I am holding to the conviction that you will never read this, and that gives me a strange sense of comfort.

I just wanted to say that I am sorry. I am sorry if you feel as if I led you on last year. I am sorry for the abrupt nature of my text message, whose words lacked the compassion my voice could have held. You were gentle, genuine, and patient. I was nervous, frightened, and pressured – not by you, by everyone else – our friends, my mother, society. I didn’t mean not you. I meant not now. My last wounds were still infected, and I needed time to heal and become a better person before I could deserve the attention of a guy as sweet and thoughtful as you.

Part of me wants to try this again. I think that I could be better this time. I am no longer broken, and I have learned so much about myself in the past year or so. However, at the same time, I am afraid that if you are willing to take a chance on me, we’ll only be disappointed. Maybe I’ll get scared again. Maybe we won’t have any chemistry after all. Maybe you won’t like what you find.

I do not know what your intentions are in rekindling our friendship, and that makes writing this all the more frightening. For all I know, you are only talking to me again because I am basically the only one left in town. But a small part of me has begun to hope that maybe, just maybe, it is because you didn’t give up on me after all, at least, not completely.

I think that this is the most exposed I have ever felt when writing. I always try to protect myself. I figure that if I keep my true thoughts hidden behind a wall of confidence and sarcasm I won’t get hurt. This is one of my imperfections, one of many, but at least I can admit this to myself.

Again, I regret the way things ended, before they had even begun. I hope that if you do stumble upon this, and you do not have any romantic feelings towards me, our friendship does not become awkward and ruined. This catastrophe has just been on my mind lately, and I needed to flush everything out.


The One Who Ran Away

A Message to Love-Struck Girls & A Writer’s Secret

Published Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Chasing Neptune

Before I begin, I find it only appropriate to set the scene for you, my invisible 30-some readers. I cannot decide whether to be flattered or irritated by the traffic my posts have been receiving. You all sit there in front of your computers and your smart phones, silently running your eyes over my naked soul, and then you leave without a whisper. But it is okay, I do the same. In fact, I almost like that you all are nameless, faceless ghosts. It almost makes me feel less exposed, almost. But I digress.

It is in the midnight hour, and roughly 30 minutes ago I finished a Nicholas Sparks novel, Nights in Rodanthe, to be specific. As any one with a heart can tell you, reading Nicholas Sparks nearly always provokes some sort of emotional reaction. However, I am proud to admit that I did not cry this time around, a rare feat. For those of you who have not read this novel, the main theme is finding strength after the loss of a love and having the courage to carry on. Instead of leaving me feeling lonely and heartsick, as many of Mr. Sparks’ works have done, this one actually made me feel proud of myself and the independence I have enjoyed for the last year and a half. It is with this pride that I extend a message to all love-struck girls, or more accurately to you, my translucent peepers.

Whenever we did exercises in high school that forced us to recognize that our peers were human beings, aka give them compliments or describe them, my adjective was almost always smart. Not that my arrogance didn’t love this title, but if I am being completely honest, it made me a little nauseated to think that this was the only word these kids, who I had known for over a decade, could use to describe me. Looking back, I find this absolutely hilarious. In high school, I was an idiot.

As my ex-boyfriends (and the friends brave enough to listen to my incessant whining at that time) will tell you, I was a dreamer, to put it nicely. I like to pretend that this stems from my overwhelming imagination and my tendency to turn everything into a work of fiction. I mean, I am a writer, after all, whatever that means. Essentially, I wanted to be in love, and I would do everything possible to convince myself that I was in love, even when I wasn’t. For some reason, I felt this compelling need to have my life figured out – grab the guy, get the ring, get the degree, success. Of course, most guys, make that 99.9% of guys, my age aren’t exactly keen on emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy? Hell yes. Emotional? See ya.

This was a concept that I knew, but from reading love stories and watching romantic comedies, I thought that I could change the guys in my life. Obviously, this is an impossible task, and looking back, even if I had been able to change them, I would not have liked what I would have created. To wrap this up, I was a dumb, love-struck girl. I was convinced that I needed my Prince Charming in order to be happy, and that I had to find him in the shallow gene pool of my high school, and fast, before I became a spinster, which clearly happened post-graduation. Needless to say, this is the most blatant form of idiocracy I have committed in my life, and I am extremely ashamed of the girl I used to be. What I wouldn’t give to go back to one of these relationships, as the girl I am now, and just have fun without the pressure I put on them and myself. But again, I digress.

My point in all of this is that the media drowns us in romantic love, almost as much as it drowns us in sex. How in the world anyone is supposed to know how to function in society after watching an hour of television is beyond me. Most of this is geared towards adolescents, specifically girls. Unfortunately, girls take these fantasized messages to heart, whether they want to admit it or not. But I am here today to say, as many others have said, that despite the insistence of the media and your “friends” and whoever the hell else, you girls do not need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. Trust me. It is more important that you are happy with yourself, as an independent person. This is a lesson that I had to learn the hard way, a lesson that I didn’t learn until I was already a legal adult.

I wear a ring on my right hand, middle finger. It is a simple, cheap piece of jewelry from an unexciting department store. It is plain silver, a heart whose ends overlap, sort of like the Breast Cancer and Support Our Troops ribbons that people plastered on their cars for a while in the early 2000’s. If any of you ghosts actually know me personally, you probably know the ring to which I am referring.

Quite a few people have noticed that I always wear this ring, and being curious, they have asked a simple question. “Who gave you that ring you always wear?” The questions vary slightly, but they are always concerned with the who. When I reply that I bought it myself, the glimmer of romanticized hope in their eyes quickly dwindles to disappointment, and the subject is completely dropped. They never ask why I never take it off or why I bought it. They just assume that it is from some love interest, and when it is not, they disgard it as merely a worthless trinket.

This is disheartening for two reasons. First, because it shows just how obsessed with romance our society is. And second, because it gives me the distinct impression that no one gives a shit about me if I’m not attached to something with a penis. I almost wrote that I apologize for the vulgarity, but you know what, I don’t.

If any of my ghosts are still devouring my words, I am sure by now they want to know why I never take off this little piece of jewelry. Well, if you ask, I may tell you. But considering it’s lack of romantic glamour, I doubt that you will.

It is now nearing one o’clock in the morning. I no longer feel the restless panging of words bouncing around inside of my head, a most welcome and regretful sensation, so I believe that I may actually be able to sleep now. I will step off my soap box and hope that my tireless ranting’s message has stuck with at least one of you, my dear apparitions.

For now, I shall go to bed. Another time, in another restless urge, I will cloudedly write of another secret, divulging everything and nothing in an urgent gasp. As I do, I will imagine your nameless faces, as you read my words in time with the clacking of my fingernails on the keyboard.

10 Confessions about the Girl I Am

Published Sunday, February 20, 2011 by Chasing Neptune

I have not posted in a while. There is really no excuse. I could say that I have no free time due to college, but considering the amount of procrastination that I undergo, that is not a valid excuse. I need to re-commit myself to some form of writing, lest I go insane. Therefore, I am going to begin to make it up to myself. How? By putting something extremely personal on the Internet for the world to see. Although, considering the number of hits this blog gets, I’m not that concerned about it. 🙂 But I have promised myself that I will not slap it up on Facebook for all of my “sort of” friends to find. Besides, the important ones that read this probably know these anyway.

So here it is. 10 Confessions about the me of the present.

  1. I am conceited enough to want everyone to know my accomplishments, but I don’t want anyone to talk about them, just know.
  2. I have issues with my grandmother because of her husband and her willingness to put up with him, and I’m worried that I’ll be like that one day.
  3. If I could be a “Merch Girl” for a rockband and spend my life touring the world and listening to music (no pressure, no stress, no bullshit), I would be utterly content.
  4. I’m not going to settle for another mediocre guy. I believe I deserve better. That being said, my standards have escalated, leaving me with the conviction that I will die alone.
  5. I judge people based on how intelligent they sound and the interests they hold.
  6. I truly believe that in another life, he and I were soulmates. I just wish it would have been true for this life, too.
  7. I put so much pressure on myself to succeed and hold myself to ridiculously high standards.
  8. I worry that my “emo days” are more serious than I let myself believe.
  9. I have high standards for the woman that I want to become. I want to be someone I can look up to; someone ecclectic and cool, successful, passionate, and unafraid – someone that I would want to write about. Someone I think my idols would want to hang out with.
  10. There are things, like writing a novel, that I feel a passionate desire to do. These are the things that I feel I will never accomplish.
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