It’s nearly 5am. I couldn’t sleep; I’ve given up.
I can’t seem to write, either.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist. I don’t know what particular kind of journalist; I used to write about anything and everything, even stuff I didn’t have a clue about. I just wanted to write about the world around me. I wanted to show everyone what I saw, just in case they weren’t paying attention and had missed something important or interesting. But people weren’t ever really interested – they had their own thoughts, why would they want mine? Writing ended up becoming something secret, something that I knew I could do for myself but couldn’t share with anyone else.
I started building websites, which I rarely told anyone about. I’d write for a year or so and then delete everything, take a break and start again. People would occasionally read them and give me just enough encouragement to keep going. I never used to let people comment and I never posted anything under my real name, but I was still so worried about people I knew finding out what I’d written that everything became a half-truth. It made for good stories but not very useful therapy.
This wasn’t really supposed to happen. I never wanted to be a blogger, I just wanted a website to keep all my writing on. I just wanted to write. And it’s good in a way, because right now I’m tired and sad and I hate what I’m writing but I’m doing it anyway. I have no discipline, so this is good. I’m getting better. I don’t particularly want to be in a routine of writing at 5am unless that’s the time I’ve woken up after a decent amount of sleep, but at least I’m writing.
I am just incredibly self-defeating. I mess everything up – or at least make everything harder for myself – so that when I fuck up, I can just blame all the other things which weren’t even actual problems in the first place. And I’m never happy with any of it. Occasionally I’ll read something that I wrote in the past, just long enough ago for me to have forgotten ever writing it, and I’ll think ‘wow, that’s quite good’ but then I’ll start critiquing it and it’s all terrible and I wish I’d never seen it again.
Sometimes people ask me why I haven’t really promoted my blog, and this is why. I don’t know why anyone would want to read this. I started a new twitter account just to keep the blog stuff separate from the shit that I usually tweet, but I’m finding it difficult just to tell people there’s a new post on here. I feel bad because I haven’t followed many people but it’s because I feel really self-conscious. Yet, this is what I want to do. But I’m likely to just fuck it all up.
I actually got paid last month. In donations, anyway – I haven’t started hiding ads on here or anything. But still… I never thought that that would ever happen. I think I still have quite a long way to go until I can call myself a proper writer, but this is a pretty huge deal to me. That may sound ridiculous to you, but I don’t really care. I’ve always been too scared to really put myself out there. I never dreamed that all I’d have to do to start it all off was tell the truth. I’d never tried that before.
On nights like these, I get so worried about everything I’ve said. This is a kind of test, to see how honest I can be with myself. There are things that I’ve tried to forget, things that everyone else seems to have forgotten so I could probably get away with carrying on the lie – but that simply doesn’t help me in the long run. I’ve done some horrible, nasty things. I want to look myself in the eye while I confess, I want to understand what made me do it. And them, too. I want to try to understand why everyone else acted the way they did.
I have a shelf full of writing books that I have never read. I keep telling myself that I’ll read them one day. Who knows, maybe I will. But the piles of notebooks that I was hoarding, that I felt were too special for me to ruin with my writing, are slowly being filled. Maybe I’m starting to believe in my own self-worth. Maybe I’ve just accepted that even the most expensive notebook is still just a butchered tree.
It’s 6am, I’m really tired. Thank you for reading.