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Why Did I Stop Writing?

I got an email a few days ago with the subject line “Why Did you stop writing?”

I thought maybe I had emailed this to myself, but on further inspection, it was from a friend who found my post on Highexistence and stumbled onto this blog. Like many people who find their way here, they express a shared frustration and loneliness – looking for that elusive “missing thing.”

I relate deeply to that and it’s why I started this blog. It’s also why I started meditating. Speaking of which, I’m currently on an 18 day streak, and after some 260 sessions, have started having somewhat regular Lucid dreams. Those are freaky as hell if you haven’t experienced them yet. I’ll try to write more about them soon.

Meanwhile, I need to answer the question “Why Did I stop writing.” I have been obsessing about it since I got that email. Earlier today, I went out to get some groceries after a busy morning of phone calls and work and it hit me. I’m afraid.

You read that right. I’m afraid. Scared. Terrified to continue to write on this blog. I’m scared because I don’t know where it might lead. I’ve no idea what doors it may open, and for some reason, that scares the hell out of me. I know that may sound silly, and that I should be embracing the journey and reveling in the notion of self-discovery and new opportunities. Except apparently, I’m scared shitless.

I haven’t felt this way in a long time – in fact, I can remember a similar feeling when I embarked on my journey to college 20+ years ago. I headed out into the unknown and was excited but terrified. I put myself into a situation where there was no turning back at a school some 1,500+ miles from him in a different part of the country – far from friends and family – and for the first time truly on my own.

And now, I am faced with more than a year of hard work – self-inspection and reflection, journaling and meditating daily. I’ve left behind high pressure and high paying jobs for an opportunity to work from home and to explore art, writing, and physical fitness.

doorAnd yet, despite that progress I’m scared to keep writing this blog because I don’t know what comes next. I feel as if I’m standing in front of a door with a halo of light around it – sure that what’s behind it is good and true and beautiful. And yet I hesitate to open it.

And now I know it’s because I’m afraid.

I attended an event in NYC earlier this week and met strangers who asked me what projects I had been working. I talked about this blog over and over again. Apologizing for it, making excuses for not writing enough, or for making it anonymous. All excuses.

I’m scared to keep writing this blog because I don’t know what comes next.

The real reason is that I’m afraid to see what comes next.

That random email I got may have shaken me out of it. Now that I can name what’s wrong and why I’m not writing I think I can make some progress. I don’t feel as afraid anymore. I still have some reservations and trepidation – my goal was never to become some sort of hippy dippy meditation guy, or some sort of personal coach. I simply wanted to connect with other who felt like I did – like a fucking zombie sleepwalking through life.

I think that’s what I’m starting to figure out. I’m dense. It takes me a few tries to get shit right. The first step is realizing you are asleep and a zombie in your own horror story. The second and harder part is actually waking the fuck up and doing something about it.

Writing was supposed to be my way through the darkness but instead, I got scared like a baby and just stopped writing and exploring. Actually, to be honest, that’s not exactly fair. I just haven’t shared it on this blog as I had planned. In addition to meditating and journaling, I started drawing and painting for the first time in forever. I spend the month of November writing a Nanowrimo novel. I opened up to my family and shared how I feel more than ever. I started writing a screenplay for a super funny idea I had.

So I am making progress. I’m not a zombie like I was a year or so ago – I’m partially awake and am slowly acquiring and learning how to use the different tools I need to wake the fuck up for real. Not being scared is one of those tools.

It feels good to be back and a little less afraid than before.

Here’s my question to you… what scares you?

4 thoughts to “Why Did I Stop Writing?”

  1. What scares me? Lots of stuff. I think I become hesitant because I don’t want to re-experience painful past traumas. I am also scared of not meeting my idealistic hopes and expectations I have for myself. I’m also scared of people, especially those with a negative, predatory, or parasitical vibe. I’m scared of pain. I’m scared of rejection. But mostly, I am scared I will let myself down. I’m scared I’ll end up as a bad example…and aliens sometimes 🙂

    Here’s an article about waking up:

  2. I’m scared that I won’t have it in me to do the creative things I have always wanted to do. I’ve always been above average at the technical things I’ve done which had guidance (school, extracurriculars, getting into a good graduate school, getting into a good consulting firm, etc.) but have always been terrible at learning abstract things quickly (instruments, dances, etc.). The inner me wishes to break out and start writing, start singing, start a random business – anything without a direction, but I can’t even get myself to write a plan myself and commit. I am scared of falling into the void, wasting my youth, and never being able to do what I truly asked. You asked didn’t you?

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      You wrote “the inner me wishes to break out and start writing, start singing, start a random business…”

      Ever heard the old saying about writers. They write. And singers? They sing. My recommendation is not to worry about writing a plan, and just do something simple. Write a poem. Go to Karaoke night. Don’t overthink it, just do something small. Then do more of that if it feels good. Last November I decided to write a novel and joined… and fucking wrote a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It’s hard to explain how good it felt to finish. Good luck!

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