I’m not the world’s biggest Zeppelin fan, nor do I know exactly what it means* to “get the lead out” but for me, it conjures up images of an old tube of toothpaste. If returning home after a long vacation has taught us anything, it’s that toothpaste doesn’t keep. I see “getting the lead out” as the first crusty substance that comes out when you squeeze that once-abandoned bottle of toothpaste. That first junk is unusable, but don’t throw out the bottle!: there’s plenty of good stuff left to be had. In my case, the once-abandoned bottle of toothpaste is my writing and I’d like to “get the lead out” now by doing a little bit of it here, for you. And for me. For us. And I can’t promise it’ll be nice and fresh.
It’s really tough to go back to doing something you used to do regularly. It’s disheartening to suck at something you were once good at; to feel as though, in a matter of months, you’ve unlearned what it took you years to learn. I’ve often heard that writing is a muscle and if you don’t exercise it, it will surely atrophy, and I feel this has happened to me.
I somehow got out of the practice of writing and since then, each time I’ve tried to put pen to paper I’ve felt fatigued, or I’ve cramped up and had to take another indefinite break. And the truth is that I’ve been sort of paralyzed by a fear of going back to it. I’ve been so afraid to post my less-than-best work that I haven’t posted anything at all. The nine–count ‘em! You can do it on two hands!–posts I’ve written up ‘til now felt easy to do and put out into the world. They felt safe and in my mind, they were perfect**. But now it seems things have gotten more complicated, and the posts have gotten trickier to write. They’re a litter rougher, a little less polished, and I don’t feel like they’re the best representation of my desired outlook on life, even if they’re true to how I’ve been feeling lately. As a result of this dissatisfaction with my work (or with certain circumstances in my life recently. Roommate/ landlord troubles.), I’ve completely shied away from the idea of sharing my writing at all. But I hate that. I don’t want to talk about writing anymore, or how annoyed I am with myself for not doing it. I’ve resolved to actually USE this blog as an outlet for my ideas, instead of the ever-growing 1000+ page word document I have saved on my computer. I’m going to let you see me at my very worst, even if it means posts that are hard to get through for both you and me.
So I’ll start with posting some old things–things that were either crap or unfinished or unfinished crap, and then I hope to write new stuff regularly. These next few (or more! Yikes!) posts will be Crusty Toothpaste Posts, and I hope you’ll bear with me ‘til we can get to the good stuff, assuming there’s still some left!
*actually, google gave me some definitions, but I promptly rejected them in favor of my own.
**or at least perfectly represented my style of writing and my perspective about what I was experiencing at the time