I’m not bold enough to call myself a writer. I’ve never really been published, save for a few internet articles and a national poetry contest in high school. I’m not a writer. I’m a person who writes a lot. I don’t even think I have a strong enough grasp on the english language to call myself a real writer.
I only do this because I don’t know how not to do it. I can’t imagine going to sleep at night with all these things bouncing around in my head. It’s not that I think I have great things to say. It’s just that I have to get them down. My bedroom is a wasteland of journals filled with things that have happened, things I wish would happen, or things that I hope I’ll never think of again. There’s a drawer full of notebooks in my room that I hope will miraculously burst into flames if I ever die an untimely death. I can’t handle the idea of anyone reading the composite crap I’ve dreamed up over the years.
I write about tragedies because I don’t know how anyone else gets through those things.
I recently wrote a post about my brother that may have been a solid example of oversharing. For more than half my life he’s battled drug addiction. It’s plagued my family. It altered my teenage years. It changed me, for better or worse. Maybe it’s not okay to put that down in words for the public to see, but it’s the only way I know how to cope. It’s his struggle, but it’s mine as well.
I write about the joys. The victories in life. Babies being born. Friends getting married. Driving on my own for the first time. Finishing college. Moving from Mississippi back to South Carolina. Memories we’ve made together. If you’ve made me laugh or feel good, there’s a good chance the story is saved on paper somewhere. There’s not a good chance I could find it, because none of this is organized. My filing system is as haphazard as the mechanics of my brain.
Someone recently asked me how I am so clever. Clever is entirely too kind of a word for it. I responded with “It’s not that I’m clever, I think I’m insane.” God forbid I take a compliment, but it’s just that the longer I live the more I feel like there’s not a whole lot of people out there like me. There’s not many of us who have to sit down every day and pound out our thoughts on a blog page or lined paper just so we can process it all.
I think normal people can just think about these things and move on. I don’t know how they do it, but I wish I did. It’d be a hell of a lot easier than spilling my guts all over a keyboard then scrapping the whole thing because it’s just not good enough. But I’ll keep doing it. I’ll keep doing it because, since I got my first diary in 1994, writing has been the only thing I’ve known to keep me going.