Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Want To Hold Your Hand.....er, Maybe You Can Hold Mine??

I've been thinking about the writer I want to be someday--some distant and future version of "me." In doing that I have to think a lot about the writer I used to be. I used to be that writer who wrote just because I had stories to tell. It seems like forever ago, when I didn't have twitter or blogs or crit partners. It was me and a pen and a character. (Literally. I used to write by hand.) I wrote what needed to be written. I told the story. I didn't doubt, didn't worry, didn't question myself or my story. I was free. I looked forward to writing, to spending time doing what I loved so much. It was a lot like The Beatles song.
And when I touch you I feel happy inside. It's such a feeling that my love. I can't hide. I can't hide. I can't hide. 
Yeah, you've got that something, I think you'll understand; when I'll say that something. I wanna hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand.
That's what new ideas, new stories, new characters...that's what writing was like for me in the beginning. And then somewhere along the way, it changed. Every journey does that. It runs along smoothly and quiet and alone, then it shifts. Things get rocky or you get lost or you meet new people who are going the same way and you walk together. You learn from each other, challenge each other, keep each other moving forward. It's a good thing.

I am no longer the writer I used to be.  I've become better at a lot of things, but I've also become someone who wants. And it's not my story or my characters. I have become someone who, instead of hoping and living in the writing, wants other people in my writing bubble. I need to have my hand held.  I need people to tell me that I'm good, that this will happen, that I can figure out the story, that I can overcome this obstacle and the next. I'll be honest: I hate that about myself. 

And while I know there's nothing wrong with it, it bugs me so much. What happened to independent Danielle and when did she get replaced by this girl who needs people to tell her what she's doing matters? That it's good? That there is hope? When did I trade my pens for my Scrivenor and my time with my characters for twitter? 

I think there are few reasons. I think it's twitter (huge distraction). It's the YA community (hugely awesome). It's being so involved and embedded into this culture, seeing my friends and people I don't even know, succeed. It's the doubts that plague you along the way. It's the revising, revising, revising so many times your head will explode. It's the querying and the passes and the hoping and the failed hopes and the belief (which usually comes from everyone but me at this point.) It's watching others get their dream and wondering if I will ever get mine because I've worked harder and longer and am better--or whatever things we tell ourselves to justify these feelings. I'm not saying all these are bad things--they're not--but I do think that sometimes they can (subconsciously or not) alter the way we perceive ourselves.

I'm definitely in the middle of a perception problem. Maybe it's the re-writing. Maybe it's life. But I know that each step I take, I look over my shoulder (or click on my gchat screen) and hope there's someone around to talk me into writing or out of a corner or out of my own crazy head. I need someone to hold my hand, to lead me out safely, to keep me going. 

As I'm writing this post, I'm realizing I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say. All I know is somedays I strive hard for something. I want this more than I want air. I go foward, climb up, work harder. And I know no one will tell me I can't have it. And other days? Well, other days I'm climbing and then bam--the rock under my feet crumbles and I tumble toward the ground. I can't catch my breath. I get hurt. I need someone to help me up. To give me a hand. And, sometimes, I don't want to let go. Letting go is scary.

Is it wrong to hold someone's hand? No, I don't really think so. But sometimes I feel like I'm less of writer because I need to. Especially after days like yesterday, after I struggled through a MERG day of dreary grey and failed to really write anything fresh. I feel like I should be that girl I used to be--who wrote lines on the back of napkins and then frantically found ways to bring them into her stories. I am a different kind of writer now. I'm in a community, I have support, I have friends. They are not the weaknesses that my mind likes to tell me; they are attributes. They are the polish that makes me shine and the glue that keeps me together. 

So why am I ashamed of needing them so much? Sometimes I feel like a burden. That's the truth. I feel needy. The writer I used to be wasn't needy. But the writer I used to be (the one before I learned about agents and publishing and all that jazz) is still inside of me. And maybe, if I want her to become part of the writer I want to be someday, I need to let her reach out. 

When I fall,  I need to take the support. I need to not be afraid to let someone hold my hand.  I need to not be ashamed to want other people with me. I need to not worry so much about what other people think or do, or who I used to be. I need someone to hold my hand. 

And I want to hold your hand.

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