Sunday, July 11, 2010
During the last month, my regular readers may have noticed that I have not been posting. Truth be told, I was not doing a lot of writing at all.
The lack of writing can be firmly laid at my doorstep---I started to care what someone might think about what I was writing. The natural result as most of you can already guess is that I quit writing.
At first, the care was merely about the issue that they were concerned about. Then it ballooned up to cover all my writing, including my Facebook and Twitter updates. Yes, I have a mental health issue.
Unfortunately, because my sole source of income is writing (ignoring student loans), well either I am going to have to ignore what they think about my writing or I am going to have to go back to flipping burgers for a living. Either option is really acceptable, but one is a little more acceptable than the other.
So to add to my list of things that cause writer's block, I must now add "toxic concern" to the list: the concern one feels about what readers might think about one's writing, the type of concern that toxic writing friends love to install in you when you are not looking.
The really sad part of this is that I do not think that they are even a regular reader of my writing (they claim to be a regular reader, but we all know that you are most likely to be tossed that claim by someone who googled the subject, randomly found you and got upset about your opinion). If they were, they should have requested certain amendments to one of my rants back in February (like the day after I wrote a particular rant). And I know that they are not a member of my audience.
(I do not need to point out to anyone that "readers" and "audience" are two different things. Readers can be anyone that stumble upon your work; audience are those that the piece was actually written for. In my case, my audience tends to be students of the esoteric, especially those with the same type of background that I have. I write about my background because I figure that I am not the only person with the issues that I have. I could be wrong---after all, I have been accused of being mentally ill on more than one occasion…though one wonders if the mentally ill do not deserve to have some writers of their own also.)
So hopefully, the worst of my bout with toxic concern is over, and I can get back to work. If I am wrong, well I know what I need to do, and it is not going back to flipping burgers.