The context here is that I’ve signed up for WordPress’s “Writing 101.” For the next four weeks, I’ll receive daily writing prompts (it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to find the time to post every day, and of course there are also lots of un-prompted posts that I want/need to write in the next month, but it sounded like fun). Today’s assignment was to just write whatever for 20 minutes. The result (with a little bit of cheating to check for spelling) is below.
Day 1. 20-minute free write. I guess what’s on my mind right now is how worried I am that this Writing 101 thing will seem silly. That it will mark me as a newbie (although duh, I am a newbie). That I’ll look back years from now and think, “Wow, how could I ever have been caught up in that.” But who cares? It’s my blog, and I can do what I like. I don’t need to write all the preemptively defensive statements that are going through my head – like how I’m not going to get so caught up in writing every single prompt that it makes me anxious, or how I’m just doing this because it sounded like fun. I wanted to do this, and shouldn’t that be enough?
Come to think of it, I’m preemptively defensive a LOT. I always feel the need to completely explain my decisions or new hobbies to my husband, to the point of countering objections that he hasn’t even made. Why is this? He and I have talked before about my fear of judgement, which seems to be a deep and constant theme in my personality, but which hurts him because he believes he would never judge me. But I interpret every little thing as judgement. And I HATE being misinterpreted by anyone, and he does misinterpret me sometimes.
I’m also very guarded when it comes to expressing enthusiasm about said new hobbies. “I can’t let myself get ‘taken in’ by that,” I think. “I mustn’t let anyone else think that I got sucked into a new world too quickly, because that’s foolish and shows a lack of critical thinking.” I have a naturally-obsessive personality, and so I do have to be on guard against letting anything take over my life to quickly. Somewhere along the way, though, I decided that other people would be judging any apparent over-interest (there’s that judgement thing again). Where did this come from? I don’t know. My parents were always very supportive of my interests, buying me craft supplies and flute lessons and the like. And while I had my fair share of unfinished projects, I wasn’t flaky about my interests – I still sew from time to time, and knit, and while I no longer play the flute, I stuck with it for nearly a decade. I did get the message that all-consuming obsession was not OK, in the form of grumpy parents telling me to hurry up and go to sleep when I just wanted to finish making my pajamas for Christmas morning. (They were very against letting me stay up late to finish things. Particularly my father. They blamed it on procrastination, but I think the real culprit was perfectionism.)
Today, I worry that my husband will be the grumpy one, if I spend so much time on a hobby that I don’t have the time he wants to spend watching TV together. He has a valid point – spouse together time is important, for sure – but my mind has taken this and twisted it around to a place where I feel like I have to defend anything I choose to do.