Because running out of things to say is usually the opposite of my primary issue, this fear should be irrational, but all the same, it is my greatest one. What if I run out of things to write about? What if I’m tapped out? What if that last thing I wrote was the very last thing of value that my brain had to offer?
Not only is the fear irrational, it’s also pretty unoriginal. Anyone who pays their rent and buys their food with money that was traded for ideas and creativity has this fear. I’ve had it for years. My husband has it. Even Best Comedian Ever, Louis C.K. has talked about having it. In fact, when Comedy Central asked him what is scarier to him, death or running out of material, he said:
I am always certain that I’ve run out of jokes, that I’ve had my last good idea. It’s terrifying. Death is not at all a bad thing because you aren’t here to experience it.
Word, Louis C.K. It is terrifying.
Today, I started thinking about what I wanted to blog about after taking the long weekend off. My brain had nothing. Then, I started worrying that if I couldn’t think of something to blog about today, how was I ever going to decide what my next book project will be? And if I don’t have anything to blog about or write a book about, I might as well just go get one of those, OHMYGODWHATDOYOUCALLTHEMAGAIN, jobs and throw this silly idea that I’m a real professional writer out the window. HOLYHELLMYLIFEISOVERSOMEONEJUSTPUTMEOUTOFMYMISERYNOW
Not to get too dramatic about it. But you know, that’s what fear does to us.
I started seriously writing on a daily basis when I was about eleven. I journaled every day. I didn’t always have anything to say. Sometimes I’d write out the alphabet. Other days I’d list my schedule for the next day or the names of boys I thought were cute. It didn’t matter if I wrote anything meaningful, because I was just doing it because I liked it. Twenty years later, (!!) I am still writing every day. And if I didn’t always have something to say as an 11-year-old, that didn’t prevent me from doodling until I did. And lo, between then and how I’ve written literally hundreds of meaningful things, things that paid my rent and keep me fed. So I guess they’ll keep coming eventually.
Even if for today all I have is:
- 8:00am: gym; 11:30am: interview; 1:00pm: news lead search