About 7 years ago, I moved to Oklahoma City. It wasn’t the first big city I lived in but it was the first one I lived in without a roommate.
I had a tiny apartment, around 450 square feet on the third floor of a gated apartment complex. At night it was filled with city noise. Ambulances going by, neighbors screaming at each other, the flashing of blue and red lights when the cops showed up. It was disconcerting for a girl who grew up in the quiet of the country.
In the midst of all that, I felt more alone than I had growing up in the middle of nowhere. I hated it but my rule was that I’d give each place I lived in a good try before I gave it up completely.
Back then you still had to have cable if you wanted internet. I didn’t have much money so I picked the smallest cable package which was about 5 channels and the cheapest internet I could get. I think I paid maybe $30 a month all together. Three of the channels were local and the other two were news outlets that bored me to tears.
Not much entertainment in those or much distraction. Luckily I had Netflix.
That’s when my TV addiction began.
Binge watching shows was an escape for me. It eased the loneliness a bit. I would get lost in the lives and worlds of the characters. In a way they became my friends, my roommates.
Lately I’ve begun to realize that this is a major problem where my writing is concerned.
Maybe some people can write with the TV on but not me. I’m drawn to it and before I know it, I’m sucked into the story line.
The problem with turning the damn thing off is that I realize how quiet the house is and that I’m the only one in it. I’m alone and scared.
But why is it scary? I’ve been alone most of my adult life. Then I realized that’s not entirely true. There’s always been a book in my hands or a TV show on, something to distract me. I’ve never truly embraced being by myself.
I think I was afraid of what I might find if left alone to think. We avoid things for a reason so, on some subconscious level, I must be hiding from something? But what?
On top of that, it’s not just avoiding my thoughts, it’s avoiding my writing. These posts don’t scare me much anymore. I know one way or another they’ll work out. Sure, not every article is a big success. I don’t even know how many people actually read them. But they come from the heart, they’re true, and I do my best. That’s really all you can ask for.
The same cannot be said of my creative writing endeavors. I have yet to actually have a story work out. My ideas now are different than they used to be. They have a point to them and a meaning behind them. They have their own sort of truth. But I’m still scared to try because they may not work. Then I’ll have to start over and be even further behind.
Maybe they aren’t working out because I don’t give them the chance to. I’m too scared to try.
So how do I get over the fear?
I’ve written a post on this topic before but no one has ever read it. I decided not to publish it because I didn’t have any answers.
I still don’t. But my challenge and my goal is to figure that out. So this week, instead of watching TV when I get home, I’m going to write. I’m going to sit here in the silence for as long as it takes and I’m going to write.
Consider it an experiment on myself. Next week, you’ll get to enjoy reading about the results, good or bad.