06 December 2012

i know i'm always writing so you think i'm good with words.

It's one of those nights. Or maybe one of those days. Where the world seems too big and not in a good way. And I look around my room, flip through Catcher in the Rye for a few minutes. Scroll down Google Reader and see all the writers I'm surrounded by. All the kids my age or younger. All the words they've written. Everything I'll never be able to write. All I have are shaky words stacked up against all the poetry ever written and my words don't stand a chance.

There's a Jaymay song- I don't even remember the name of the song, but whenever I'm doing anything that doesn't require a lot of thought, even just standing at the kitchen counter making coffee, the lyrics will repeat in my head. "I know I'm always writing so you think I'm good with words but I can hardly express how I feel." I've listened to those lyrics hundreds of times and they never become less true.

Sometimes I get too used to people telling me I'm a good writer. They just become words, words that are too easy to shrug off.

Tonight is not one of those times. Tonight, it's becoming too easy to think that I'll never be able to write what I want to write. I feel like the only things that I can write are just other people's thoughts, repeated in my clumsy way.

This post isn't me asking you to tell me I'm wrong. (I understand that this feeling will go away by the morning.) This is just me, trying to be honest. Trying to be vulnerable in a way I'm not used to.


  1. I think that we as writers (and people) feel this way a lot. there's a quote that I know you've most likely read multiple times, but I'll comment with it anyways.

    "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to." ― Jim Jarmusch

    Basically, there are so many things that have been said and created and written and photographed and painted and sang and so on that sometimes (a lot of the times) it feels like it's all been done and said. Sometimes it feels like no matter what we do, we cannot create something better/more beautiful/more honest/new or true because we're surrounded by people who are trying to all create something new and beautiful and honest, same as us. but the beauty of that is that, for someone, it is new. so even if it's a photo that's been taken a million times, an emotion that is expressed in words for the trillionth time, a melody that has been played more than can count, for someone, it is new. and for someone, they will hear it or see it or read it and resonate with it, because to them, it will be what they need. not only will it be new, but it will be honest.

    there's a beauty and bravery in vulnerability and this is very beautiful. don't doubt your words for too long, katie. God gave you words so you could write. remember remember remember that.

    love you lots.
    xo, h

  2. ugh this is me. you pretty much wrote what I've been feeling but didn't have the words to write. I struggle with this exact thing, but not only with words, with photography, design, even just being a person. everyone else seems to be better. but like you said the feeling usually fades by morning. late nights + dreary nights seem to leave me in a nostalgic, sad, dreary blanket. xx Natalia

  3. This post puts into words exactly what I feel every day. "Tonight, it's becoming too easy to think that I'll never be able to write what I want to write." Yes, yes, yes.
    And I hope this doesn't sound too creepy, but you're truly one of "those writers" to me- people who have far more talent than I know I ever will, and I can't help but compare myself to you. You have a gift; don't doubt it. :)

  4. Being vulnerable is good.

    Something I like to think about sometimes is that we (I) think of creating like it comes from a void.
    But in reality we create when we are inspired, and we need other peoples ideas to make our creation better.

    Shakespeare is famous for Romeo and Juliet, but he was not the first person to write that story.
    He just wrote in a way that it means so much more than it did before.
    And it became timeless in a way.

    And now he's a "great writer", a creator of english language.

  5. Sara and Hannah wrote these amazing comments and I'm feeling this post firsthand right now.

    See, Kates, that's the beauty of art itself. Nothing is original. We feed off other humans and the inspiration they bring to focus. You know how it is. When you write something amazing it makes me start thinking about the same ideas, and the writing that comes out of that one idea is dramatically different.

    Also, I know how it feels to look at your good writing on the nights that you don't think you can ever write again with a sense of detachment and despair.

    I know you're stronger. I know you will wake up and find the words.

  6. Right now I'm feeling this exact way reading all the encouraging comments. But I guess I'll reiterate what has already been said - I completely understand. Some days I'll write something and think, "hey! y'know, this is puurty good if I say so myself!" and then most days I'm reading amazing writers on Blogger and Tumblr or in books, etc., and I just feel like nothing I can ever write will be good enough. At least in comparison to those I admire (including you).

    With that being said, don't ever doubt you're a great writer Katie. Because you are. You have a raw, unmistakable talent, one that encouraged me to write again. (Remember my tumblr ask?)


  7. Well I'm not going to tell you that you're an awesome writer to make you feel better, I'm going to tell you that you're an awesome writer because you are.
    Katie, you're an awesome writer. :)
    But I totally know what you mean, and what it feels like, I"ve struggled with the exact same thing, I am right now actually, have been for a long time. I don't think I'm a talented writer, and I don't think I'll ever get anywhere in this written world. But maybe the feeling that we're not any good is what is going to get us there? One can hope, right?

  8. Even these words that you just wrote are solid, and sweet words that are just so gorgeous!


  9. Hey there!
    I just came across your blog!:) You're a lovely writer.

    And hey, this is super random, but has anyone ever told you that you look like a light-haired Carly Rae Jepsen?? haha

    Blessings on your new year, hun!


  10. your honesty is beautiful. just found your blog & i quite enjoy it.

  11. Every creative person is cursed with doubt. Have faith in your talent. Lots of love!

  12. So true. Odd how our moods can affect how we feel about ourselves, and everything we write? One day ... this is brilliant, I can't believe I wrote it! The next ... this is terrible, I can't even look at it. And so it goes, on and on ...
    Love the post title, by the way.

    Ladaisi Blog
    Ladaisi Etsy

  13. Thank you for expressing this feeling of creative insecurity so beautifully. Thank you for being vulnerable.

  14. i miss your writing. can't wait until you decide to start posting again. you've always been one of my favorite bloggers. xx

  15. I miss your writing too. Even though I'm around it on a daily basis. I just agree.


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