Hello, my name is Kathy, and I’m a desperate, writing neurotic—


My only honest option is to tell the truth.

I’d like to pretend I have something to say—something compelling for you to praise in the comments below.

However, the sad facts are otherwise.  The ugly, honest-to-god, and truly tragic truth is I’m completely clueless—cowering mute and wordless in the corner.  And that’s a good day.

It’s also true that I’ve felt this way before.

I’ve woken before on the wrong side of a far-from-perfectly-posted Serta—the silent side, that is.

And I survived.  Maybe I’ll make it this time, too.              

Maybe I’ll live to blog again another day.

But maybe, just maybe, god-forbid, you’ve felt this way, as well.  Maybe I’m not alone.  Maybe you’ve met my enemy censors in the back alley of your own writing life.  Maybe a terrorist editor haunts you, too, perching on the edge of paragraphs, mocking from the margins.

If so, please, for the love of blog gods, come clean in the comments below. 

Surely I’m not the only desperate, pathetic writing neurotic, posting myself silly and insane on this crazy, craving-to-be-Freshly-Pressed planet.

35 thoughts on “Hello, my name is Kathy, and I’m a desperate, writing neurotic—

  1. Kathy,

    You are not alone, but you need to take a deep breath. In . . . Out. Better? Now, you are a brilliant and talented writer. Freshly Pressed is a carrot dangling on a stick that means nothing. Write because you have to write. Write because you love words. Write because you have a story to share. The censor/editor inside of you only has power if you let it–well, that’s not completely true, it has the power of helping you write more beautifully as long as you set up some rules of behavior: 1) censor may edit for spelling and grammar 2) censor may help select a new word on rare occasions 3) censor MAY NOT censor ideas, thoughts, emotions or criticize writer in any way.

    My dear friend Kathy, do not let the demons in your mind win. Write if you can.. Take a break if you need to. But remember, the carrot is just a carrot, and your words are worth more than a carrot.

    ❤ Lisa

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    • Lisa, you are dear! And so, so right!

      I love the idea of setting up rules the censor must abide by–great suggestion.

      I do write because I love words and I love writing, but I keep discovering in myself this part of me that craves recognition. It’s not a good quality. In fact, it’s ugly–the part of me that not only wants to write well, but wants to be recognized for it. And being famous for doing it so well wouldn’t be bad either.
      I know this is shallow and maybe something to be ashamed of, but it’s easier at this point to just be honest. Surely ugly honesty is better than pretty lies.

      Thanks, my friend. Can’t wait to see you, either! I”m excited!

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      • Who am I to call you shallow when I am the first person to admit I crave approval and want recognition. But here’s the catch 22 in all of this, you can’t get approval, recognition, fame or glory if you don’t create a product. I’ll never be a famous director if I don’t direct. I’ll never be a famous author if I don’t write. I’ll never be a famous anything if I don’t take chances. So, if you let the desire for recognition and accolades stop you, then you get are the only person getting in your way. You have the talent. You have the story. You have the art. Just do it and let the rest come to you.

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      • You are so right, Lisa! It’s the doing that counts. We will never have to be any of those things if we don’t practice the craft! Thanks, my friend! You are dear! Wouldn’t it be wonderful, for you to become a famous director? I would be so damn happy for you–a famous author, too!

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  2. Kathy:

    I feel like this all the time but then I get those encouraging comments that keep me going. Plus I do love to write. For me it has been easy since I’m writing a lot about the past and travel, which I adore. I feel like I’m reliving each and every trip. As far as FP goes, I truly feel like it is so random. I’ve had a FP before and was confused why it was picked as it wasn’t my favorite post. I think someitmes it is just random. Keep up the good work! THere is so much to write about in this crazy world. I just pick up the paper or look around, and there is so much inspiration!!!!!

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    • Gosh, you’re right. I’ve been FP-ed, as well, and it was not my best work by far. So many people say that. I just don’t think it could be random–otherwise why would some folks be FPed over and over again?

      At any rate, this post was not meant to be about FPed. It was really about how I sometimes agonize when I write and how tired I am of that.

      And yes, you are right. You have the most amazing things to write about because of your travel!

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  3. Hello, Kathy,
    Do not ask about how I found your post!
    It is the cyberspace, allright?
    About your question,
    Hello, Kathy, I am Elena and I am a compulsive collector of my own and others’ thrown texts.
    In this quality, my advice is to write anything, anytime, because the Muse must be treated with respect. She knows that sometimes these attempts of yours will reveal their utility and will find the appropriate place. However, I do it. And I post on my blog – I have no idea anymore why , because apparently nothing is interesting enough for my readers. But I have a feeling that I will not give up too soon on that. And take me to hell if I care how much people like to read what I write. I do it for my collection!
    Eventually, my personal satisfaction is most important, don”t you think the same?
    Keep writing!

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    • Yes, I agree, Elena–what matters most is that we each like what we write—that we are happy with ourselves. Foolishly, however, I also care what others think. I don’t seem to be able to help myself. You are very right, and I take your advice seriously. I just don’t know how to get to the point where I don’t care what others think. Sad, but true!

      At any rate, I’m thrilled that you found my blog–however, that came to be. I look forward to checking yours out, as well. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I hope you’ll stop back by soon!!

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    • Elena, I tried to visit your blog, but got a WordPress message that it’s no longer available. If you read this, would you mind leaving a link? I’d love to stop by. By the way, thanks so much for subscribing!

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  4. “My only honest option is to tell the truth.” Lady, I’m about to get a notebook, fill it with your brilliant quotes, and scribble “Kathy Be So Clever” across the cover. You are so not alone. I will have weeks I feel on fire, writing comes easy and often . More often than not, though, I second-guess myself, write-rewrite-erase everything I think up, and worry that I will never have one semi-decent thing to write about ever again. The good news is you always WILL have something more to say. You’ll find that flow again and celebrate those waves when inspiration comes easy and often 🙂

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    • You’re too funny, Tori! I’d love to get my hands on that notebook to see what I write that happens to be that memorable. But, yes, the writing does seem to come in waves–gushes of good and weeks of total shit. It’s such a strange process. I guess one thing I am finding is that I’m fascinated by the expereince of writing and how it differs from person to person.

      Thanks, my friend! You have made my day!

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  5. Oh, Kathy– methinks being Freshly Pressed is the blogging equivalent of winning Prom Queen… except juvenile popularity STILL has nothing to do with it! What is more appealing to you: wearing a tiara for a day and smiling to hundreds/thousands of strangers for 24 hours, or making meaningful and consistent connections with a smaller group of people well into the future? I know what I’d choose…

    Don’t get me wrong: being FP is fun, but so are a lot of other things. It’s not the be all, end all of existence, right? You will live to write another day, and your cohort of REAL online friends will be there cheering you on. 🙂

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    • You are right, Dana. And Sara insists the same–that FPed doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s better to have a smaller group to connect to over the long haul, but damn it–I want both! I hate to admit that, but in all honesty I do. I love the connections that matter–god yes–but why can’t i have it all? I know I don’t necessarily deserve it, but right or wrong, I also crave the recognition. If I had to choose, I’d pick to be close to a few. To be totally honest, however, I’d kind of like both. I know this is shallow. I need to work on this, for sure!

      However, this post was not meant to be about FPed. I used that image in the last sentence, but really what I meant to focus on was how agonizing the writing process can be. Do you know what I mean?

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  6. What is “freshly pressed”…I’ve seen the term but have no idea what it’s about…not really certain that I care…any way…every writer has hot and cold writing spells…I’d say more…but I cannot find the words. 😉

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    • Too funny, Charles–you can’t find the words! Freshly Pressed refers to the posts that are featured each week day on the WordPress homepage. It’s good that you don’t care. That’s one of the things I love about you and your writing–you do for the love of language and sharing a profound message. Keep it that way, my friend!

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  7. Kathy…. Do me a favor. Reach out with both hands and grab each side of your PC Monitor or your desktop screen. Are you grabbing it? OK….Now close your eyes….count to three….and then I want you to yank your head into your screen as hard as you can…pause a second…and then repeat as needed….until you are flooded with blogging ideas…or are unconscious….. This is what works for me……Trust me….My screen has a permanent imprint of my face on it! You are not alone dear woman! Ideas will come flooding in…… until then, start slamming that head! Now!! Go!!!!

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  8. Awww, Kathy, if it means anything at all, I love the way you write and feel it must come so naturally to you!
    I get days (weeks!) when I don’t trust myself to be able to articulate a single thought in any meaningful way…it sucks!
    So here I am, waiting for the day when I can come up with something I’d dare to publish….
    Cat got my tongue real good 🙂

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  9. I go through this every day, as far as trying to come up with something, anything, to write about. Fortunately, I now have a reputation for filling up space with photographs. But when I started blogging, I didn’t have a digital camera and I had to rely on words. Truthfully, I find them both difficult at times, even more so when I’m trying to tie together words and pictures.

    You are a wonderful writer, Kathy. Just write. Freshly Pressed will find you again. 🙂

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    • Yes, I can imagine it’s even more difficult as a photographer to have to tie together the words and images. I hadn’t thought of that. But thanks, Robin. I’m glad you enjoy my writing. One day FP will come my way again—————-

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  10. You are most definitely NOT the only one, my friend. I am plagued quite often lately by a lack of words. And it didn’t help when the hubby asked if I was going to write something happy for a change because he thinks all my writing sounds so “complainy” lately.

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    • I don’t think you ever sound like you’re complaining, Terri. I think a lot of people really connect to your honesty. When you’re willing to share something vulnerable, it really makes readers feel like they know you and connect with you more strongly. Keep doing EXACTLY what you are. I think it really works, my friend!

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  11. Dear Kathy,
    I don’t know if anything I’ll say will bring any comfort at all, but it’s worth a shot. You are completely normal! We all go through this horribleness. As has been said before by others above, and in far more eloquent terms, just keep writing girl. It’s all you can do.

    I remember years ago when I managed a ceramics gallery and artists would come in or phone each month to find out if any of their work had sold. Generally those phoning hadn’t sold anything, and generally their work was of a calibre above and beyond the average coffee cup or casserole. I remember a particular day when a woman potter who made completely unique and amazing pieces came up to my office holding back the tears after a third month with no sales. She talked about giving up, her work must be ‘crap’ because no one had bought it.

    I told her to keep in mind that just because something sells it doesn’t mean it’s ‘good’. McDonalds sells and it’s definitely not ‘good’ food, Harlequin romances sell, and they are definitely not ‘good’ writing. You write because you have to, likely because it makes you happy (despite the damn inner critic), so keep doing it.

    You also seem ashamed of wanting recognition. We all want recognition. It’s natural and a bit of a curse at the same time. Give up the shame girl, it is what it is. I have a blog and it has 5 subscribers, 4 of whom are my friends. I write because it makes me feel better, more whole, more here. I’ll never be FP’ed and that’s ok, but it still means the world to me when someone compliments my writing.

    Good luck and don’t stop.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. Your story about the potter communicates such an important message. And you are absolutely correct. There is no clear connection between what sells and value. This is an important reminder.

      You are correct. I think I am embarrassed about wanting recognition. I don’t know why, but I supect I need to think about it.

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your visit, and I so hope you will come back. Thank you so much!

      Like

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