...is the human thirst for self torture."
~Edgar Allen Poe
Poe said it, and I'm living it. As I undertake what I've thought of as a lifelong dream, to learn the skills of being a good writer (maybe even a great writer one day), and to (for once in my life) really enjoy my work, I find myself submitting to a quivering mixture of dark fear and doubt trickling through the neurons of my brain. Is it enough that I love to write? Is it enough that every day stories pour through my subconscious and wish for me to scrawl them down, on paper, on a napkin, on a gum wrapper or on my cellphone?
Maybe my ability to write is like the illusions (or delusions) I have every day. Monsters still hide under my bed. The creature in the closet is ever present when the lights go out (I ALWAYS make sure that door is shut so it doesn't come out and suck at my brains while I'm asleep). In caves, and in pitch black forests barely lit by a sliver of moonlight, I find my eyes roving for midnight fairies; I jump at the sounds of what must be trolls coming up from the underworld; I ask questions to passing Ravens and wait for them to answer me back. Sometimes, I think they do.
This week, I am surrounded by a sea of talented writers who have many skills I don't possess. Some, who have words that seem to come so easily to a page and immediately make sense...effortlessly making a compelling story. How will I compare to these scribes? The next few days will be both a challenge and a creative stimulus for me, I believe. I've waited long enough, rolling from one degree to the next. Learning one craft from another, but putting off the one that's really mattered to me most. Until now.
Rolling stones gather no moss, but what good is moss? It is green, lush and some mosses contain natural medicines that help fight infections and bring the ill back to health. Perhaps, as I study and learn the craft...perhaps as my writing grows, my 'moss' will too. Then I'll have something to combat the wounds I'll endure, because this time around there will be no holding back. This time I'm seeking the greatest torture of all time...and I'm going to drink it.