“I have done, this year, what I said I would: overcome my fear of facing a blank page day after day, acknowledging myself, in my deepest emotions, a writer, come what may.” –Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962 (via Lit Verve)
There are so many things about my life that I never saw coming, and then there are those things I should have known all along. I had no idea I would end up studying theology, and if things had gone only a little bit differently in January of my junior year of college, I never would have. I should have known from about sixth grade on that I would end up in grad school, though it wasn’t obvious to me that I belonged here until I was two years in.
Writing, I should have always known to take seriously, but for a long time, I thought that if writing was a thing I had to do then I wouldn’t want to do it. I don’t feel that way anymore, and I have a hard time even recalling what motivated those thoughts. Professional goals and artistic dreams aside, writing is my way of being in the world. I don’t know who I am or what I think or how to keep going if I’m not writing.
I read the above quote and thought, “Do you ever really get over the fear of the blank page?” But, yeah, in some ways you do. It may always be intimidating, but you develop a life around the act of writing, and then it doesn’t matter how scary a blank page is, because you always know you will eventually face it. You get in the habit of acknowledging yourself and your deepest emotions.
And, then, I guess you stop worrying that something will ruin writing for you, because nothing can.