Words

So often I think to myself that I should cease writing and delete everything I have published. But other times — like today — I wonder why on earth I decided to obliterate so much all those years ago. Diaries I once wrote, I tore to shreds. Creative writing I tossed into the bin. So many projects I bulk deleted.

Now the archeologist in me, trying to make sense of the past, begs: “Why do I self-censor so much?”

The rationale in the past always briefly made sense: to purify my soul, to vanquish my ego, to overcome obsessions, to counteract addictions, to be more truthful, to eradicate the blues. Indeed, just yesterday I toyed with deleting a novel, in the hope of closure. So nothing changes, after all.

Sometimes I wonder, “Why did I take up writing in the first place?” I ask myself why I chose this as my hobby. Of course, I know the answer to that: I write to compensate for what my tongue appears unable to express. Though, in truth, I know I am still mostly speaking to myself.

Somehow I need to find a way to resist the urge to withdraw everything I write moments after publication. But since my library of posts returned to draft currently stands at 905, I know that won’t be easy. Old habits die hard. I don’t have courage of my convictions. Everyone who knows me is aware that I publish and withdraw. I don’t have confidence in my words. I am a man of perpetual regrets.

Today’s futile attempt to find a piece of writing from years ago lends me pause for thought. Do I really want to do this to an older version of myself another twenty years from now? No, so the novel receives its stay of execution for another day, though I admit that I have unpublished most of what I’ve written here over the past month.

Alas, this is me: in a complicated relationship with words.

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