‘Guess what.’ I text him.
I pause, not sure of what to text back. Perhaps I could talk about the bubbling worry inside of me, but I already did that so much. We talked about my worries yesterday. He can’t keep being the only person I shout my worries to.
But I could tell him. I could text, ‘Apparently, I need to change the tense of my novel. Not many people like present tense, which is strange to me. I’ve never had that problem before. And–’ No. I can’t text that. Instead, I text something along the lines of, ‘I’m almost done with this TV show. It’s pretty cool. You should check it out. One of the side characters doesn’t even have a neck.’
I’m not sure when I started double guessing whether or not to tell people about my writing struggles. I guess it started in high school since I got more serious about publishing then. But everyone kept repeating how I wouldn’t be able to afford to live as a writer. ‘Writer’s don’t get paid that much. It’s not like you’ll become J. K. Rowling famous either.’
That’s when I stopped. Instead of giving them the joy of being right, I stopped talking.
When I think through what I need to do for writing, it can sound like I’m complaining. It’s easy to tell when my friends are losing interest when I ‘complain’. Their word count diminishes to “okay” or “yeah, I think so too.”
I still worry about ‘complaining’ too much even though it doesn’t bother my friends as much as I think it does. Sometimes, I’ll ask for permission before I even mention my writing. Other times, I’ll stop typing and think back to the last time I ‘complained’ to them. If it was recent, I’ll delete the text message. Sometimes I’ll delete the message after I press send, so I don’t have to see the message stare back at me when they don’t reply fast.
On days I don’t tell them, my muscles are tense. I write out everything I can think of that could fix my writing. I pace sometimes as if that’ll help me think of a quicker answer.
I don’t know how to cure it. I wish I did. But perhaps, you have this too. Maybe you worry too much about editing or ‘complaining’ too much. If you do, know that you’re not alone. I understand.