Saturday, September 8, 2012

Drunken writing

Hi, my name is Amber, and I'm a drunk. 

Yeah, it happens.  I get all self-righteous about how I write for the "right" reasons, meanwhile daily checking how many people are reading my posts or hoping for the rare comment, fretting about how my following isn't growing and how my readership has declined in the past several weeks.  I write a frantic post disguised as the musings of a writer, when really, I'm starved for validation, and then, I wake up with a vague tingle of embarrassment the next morning.  Like, I'm pretty sure something happened last night that I don't wish to acknowledge. 

It's called self intoxication.  I hate to say, I know it well.  I'm just good at hiding it, most of the time.

I border on priding myself on being real in my writing, and the first thought I have this morning when I see the one comment on my last post, is "Damn, I should delete that post altogether."  As in, hehe, no one needs to see that real me - the needy writer me - so let's just send it into the void of oblivion and pretend it doesn't exist.  Pretend I don't care what people think of me or my writing or whether or not I'm good enough to make it or why I'm not as "popular" as others.  Uck.  It's disgusting.

But when my reader commented yesterday, sharing some of her own thoughts and struggles in this process of being a writer, it was like she lovingly shook me from my drunken stupor.  It hurt.  And I'm so glad she did it.

On her blog, she wrote these words that carve to the depths of my soul: "And then it comes to me: God’s listening.  I create simply for the joy of creating.  My words are an offering and a sacrifice, and I can imagine no other audience that matters more. I am an artist. I offer up these small gifts, my brown-paper stories filled with sparkling words.  And that matters, even if no one else is paying attention."

I know them.  I believe them.  I don't do as good a job as I'd like to think at living them.  I breathe a sigh of relief that she had the courage to write them in her own beautiful voice.

I'd like to promise it won't happen again, that from this day forth I will no longer care if no one else but God is paying attention to my words.  I know I write because I feel the words burning inside me and I am compelled to share them.  But in the end, if God was my only fan, why feel deflated about that?  After all, he's the one who puts the words there in the first place.  I just need to listen and pour them back out to him.

And I'll always be a recovering drunken writer.


  1. Oh fellow kindred spirit. We all all in this together. xoxo

  2. Oh, Amber!! You always nail this writerly thing right on the head! I was just starting to go down that funnel of "who's listening anyway?" and then I read your post. You are SUCH a brave and honest writer, my friend. Truly. You have amazing insight to share and you are RIGHT: Creation for creation's sake is a REAL motivator and THAT is what will carry us into the dark days of no page hits and diminished readership. :) I write, too, because I feel COMPELLED- like the words might just explode out of my body if I didn't carefully arrange them into sentences on a screen. Keep writing. You're not alone. Every time you write, you give the rest of us the courage and the space to write ourselves.

    1. Lauren, thank you for this. Augh, it can be such a slippery funnel once we fall in! So thankful for other brave, honest writers, so we can encourage each other. Keep writing, too, friend - you do have such a gift, by the way - simply for the joy of creating. I'm so honored you'd comment here :-)

  3. Hah! Me too :) To everything you wrote. Me too. :)

    1. Welcome to the (non)club then! ;-) I think I'm reading your blog right now while you're here on mine... :-)