Nothing to Say

It’s been 13 days since I last wrote in here. I told myself that I was going to start blogging regularly, but it’s easy to let it go by the wayside. And it doesn’t help that I think I have to write entire essays instead of just jotting down what’s going on in my life and my head on a given day. I’m not usually coherent enough to write a well-crafted piece, so I figure I don’t have anything to say.

Well, I don’t have anything to say today. Except that I dreamed last night that I got out into the world and started observing people and listening to their conversations. And as I dreamed, I noted to myself that this is what I should be doing to get material for my writing. (I actually dreamed that I was a writer!) I tend to shut myself up inside my house and try to pry something interesting out of my brain without putting anything in it to inspire me. But even when I’m in a group of people, I sit back and watch rather than be the center of attention. So I’m still alone, in a way.

Frankly, I question whether I ever have anything to say. I admire writers like Richard Selzer whose career as a surgeon so beautifully informs what he writes. What could I write that would possibly be of interest to people? No, more than that, what is it about my life that adds texture and depth to what I write?

On the surface, I’m a white married middle-aged mother of four and grandmother of one. I’m sure that’s how my co-workers view me. But I’ve gone through three divorces, married four times, was once married to a minister, am now married to a man fourteen years my junior who is also German, worked at the post office for sixteen years, earned my Bachelor’s degree when I was 53, live in the inner city and suffer from chronic depression and anxiety. There’s a lot of material right there. But I have a tendency to discount my experiences because they’re not as exciting or dramatic as some people’s. I figure I have nothing to say that would add to the collective wisdom of humanity.

I need to get over this if I’m to be a writer. No life is inconsequential. If I can see the interesting things about others’ lives, why can’t I see them in my own? I think it has a lot to do with my lack of self-confidence. If I’m down on myself in general, I’m also going to be down on my writing. It takes a certain amount of ego to be a writer, and my ego has taken a beating. (It was never that strong to begin with.) I need to find what it is about myself that makes me worth knowing if I am ever going to be able to write anything worth reading.

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