If you can’t say something nice…

Thief clip2
Thief of Hearts, detail

I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t posted lately. This morning I heard the old saying in my head, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I think I haven’t been writing (or creating) lately because I’ve felt very critical. I’m always questioning things — everything, especially myself.

I go through these stages where I read, read, read, everything I can get my hands on, as if I don’t know what to think… about anything. Then I realize I am just reacting. It’s as if I’m afraid to think what I think, even now, at my age. I guess I thought at some point my beliefs would become fixed and I would live my life based on those beliefs.

The truth is, a lot of time I don’t know what to think or who I really am. I am very reactive and sometimes wishy-washy. It’s not that I don’t have opinions. I am very opinionated. But it’s more knee-jerk than I would like — defensive.

I am an introverted extrovert, a naturally outgoing person who was coerced as a child into being quieter and more restrained. Thus the problem with my blog, and my art. I often think I know what I want to do, to write, or to create, and then the doubting starts.

Who is this doubter? Is it me, or my internal critics? Why am I, at times, unable to speak at all? Who or what am I afraid of? Can I be free, or am I doomed to envy others’ freedom?

4 thoughts on “If you can’t say something nice…

  1. Ah Doubt, that old shadow… I know it well. Sometimes it’s a chain that wraps itself around me a hundred thousand times until I can’t move or think or create.

    Sometimes it’s the voice of a critical parent echoing from my childhood.

    Sometimes it’s an evil villain dressed in black leather.

    Sometimes I can’t even hear its voice, I only feel where its breath has condensed on my heart, chilling it into paralysis.

    Whatever it is, I’m starting to wonder if it matters where it comes from. All that matters is persevering despite its presence, if the drive to create can survive the onslaught. I had a wobble about blogging a couple of weeks ago, took it to the page and the pressure lifted. You brought your struggle to this page… has that helped at all?

    I don’t feel qualified to offer advice, but I can offer virtual company and tea. I hope you keep coming back as I am drawn to your voice and your art. It’s selfish of me… but I also know that you, like me, need to create, so I don’t feel guilty 🙂

  2. @ Emma Don’t worry. It’s likely I will never stop blogging, as I have never stopped talking (a lot) in my entire life! I have talked during class, at work, in line with strangers, and non-stop to my children and spouse for all these years. I have wondered though, what makes talking on THIS OFFICIAL PAGE different?

    I had more than one colorful but reckless close family member. I was embarrassed by their behavior in public so many times as a child. I imagine I have a large fear of ridicule!

  3. Hi Tess… I don’t think that’s how my mom would have said it. But that’s the general idea I’m trying to implement, LOL.

    Maybe I should come and visit you and get some inspiration!

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