A Writer's Terror

We've explored the unlined page, and handwriting, and what makes us feel unbounded, and what makes us feel secure. I love Rebecca's fumbling, beautiful rant on how writing exploration is scary, and how the computer gives her a sense of safety.

by Rebecca R.

Who owns my life? I feel sick and paralyzed if I even let the question enter my mind. I don't want to have to answer that; I don't know how to answer that; I don't even know where to start to answer that. I've set out to capture it, or at least begin the search and I choose to do so at the keyboard rather than with a pen and paper, that exploration of unknown territory in a rustling, inky, wet, messy and too real way. It's safer to be typing.

I feel safe on the computer. I feel clinical. I feel in control, nothing will seep out or sneak out that I can't backspace over or delete, like I just did to get "can't" right. I'm still editing, I'm still suppressing, I'm still withholding, I'm still stuck and I feel not so much angry as ashamed, less indignant and more defeated because I'm not brave enought to really look. If I look and know, then I might have to do, or at least try. And people will watch me try and they'll have to know I'm trying and they'll question and wonder and be skeptical and expect that it's not going to work, or wonder why on earth I decided I wanted to do that and shouldn't I just do this, it's much more suitable, much more predictable, and ought to be good enough. Why does she think she needs to run off and try to do that? Whatever it is.

What feels safe for you in writing? What feels scary? Do you have a preference of keyboard or pen/paper, and if so, why?

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