Monday, September 8, 2014


I am paralyzed. My toes wiggle and my legs carry me when I wish to move. Lifting a burden poses no problem; my arms and back remain strong. My hands and fingers may deftly weave a warm garment, or concoct a nourishing meal, or repair a broken home. Better yet, they can still caress my child’s face when he seeks reassurance and comfort.

No, my paralysis lies deeper, in my brain, my heart. If I looked inside, I would see no damage. The structures are intact. They hum with electricity and pulse with every beat.

Inaction persists. Tending the garden, walking in the woods, driving a car…. Motion means nothing when the words refuse to flow. They dance just beyond my reach, tantalizingly close yet achingly far.

Why? What inner demons hold the words at bay?

Fear paralyzes me. Doubts eat every line. Indecision drags me to and fro, forcing me through a maze which has no outlet.

You think you can write? Ha! Your trivial musings have no value.

You are wasting time, wishing for validation, hoping for acceptance, aching for praise. Give up.

You will never reach such a lofty goal; your wings of gossamer, they cannot carry such a pathetic burden.

The whispers rise into screams, echoing to a crescendo of agony.

How do I silence them? They hammer and pound, an endless drumbeat of defeat, failure, and insignificance. My eyes roll in their sockets, a frantic search for the source of the cruel phantoms. Panic envelops me in its cold embrace. Ragged breaths ripped from my chest are the only sign of life.

I am paralyzed ... but I refuse to give up. Quitting is not an option. My body still moves, my brain fires, my heart pumps. My gossamer wings flutter, battered by howling winds.

Still, I fly.

Image courtesy of  Victor Habbick at
Image courtesy of  Victor Habbick at


  1. I've felt that paralyzing sensation. The doubts, the fears, the voices that keep telling you to give up. You've captured it all so well. And that last line, perfection. :)

    1. Thank you very much! It's wonderful knowing I'm not alone. Writing is such a lonely endeavor....

    2. I've struggled with self-doubt to the point that I almost gave up on my writing a couple times, and I mean completely. But something always brought me back. I'm now working with a writing coach and she has helped me so much. You may know her, Lauren Sapala. She's been a godsend to me. I know it will never be easy, but I am learning more and more to trust myself, the writing process, and my characters. :)

    3. I, too, have found lots of support that makes all the difference. I put writing aside for years, partially due to life, but mostly because I couldn't see any way forward. I'm ready for it now and I keep going even when it seems impossible. Those doubts are persistent - we just have to decide to be more persistent! :)

    4. Yes, persistence and support are so important! At some point, I decided that the doubts and fears wouldn't win anymore. I was taking control. I'm still a slow writer, and I still struggle, but I keep pushing through. :)