I don’t paint anymore…

…say those words in a southern American accent and I bet you most women who spent their late teens ogling over Ryan Gosling will be able to put it in context for you. It’s The Notebook: it’s the scene where Ally (Rachel McAdams) alludes to her ill-fated fiancé (James Marsden) that she has lost a part of her, in trying to mould herself to other people’s – including his – expectations.

And he says? “So paint.” Such a logical answer, and the push she needed: “I’m gonna start.”

Now, you and I know it was never about painting; it was about being inspired by something, or someone. And being surrounded by the people who love the look on your face when you really throw yourself into something. They probably don’t even care for the end result.

So, here it is… I haven’t written in a long time.

Why? Because the internet, and it’s way of archiving EVERYTHING YOU DO, kind of terrifies me. When I get an idea, it’s quickly overshadowed by the cons of putting it out there for, you know, ever. What if it was just a passing idea? A musing that will haunt me somewhere down the line? What if it doesn’t sit well with a friend, an employer, or my family? What if it somehow defines me as only someone who writes about that ONE subject; be it social, trendy, topical, or totally trivial? What if it only shows one side of me, when actually I’m a daughter/sister/girlfriend/friend AND an individual, a professional AND an entirely-unprofessional-at-times 25 year old, a feminist and a traditionalist, a country-born city-dweller who loves the gym AS MUCH as she loves pizza.

Weighing it all up, I’ve decided it’s not a good enough reason to avoid writing; I miss the times when someone would say to me that they’d actually read that thing that I’d written – ‘trivial’ or not – and that it had spoken to them somehow.

So. I want to spend a little less time worrying about releasing something that might not be grammatically perfect, or totally on-brand (yeah right, I don’t have a brand), and a little more time just putting pen – AKA Arial, size 10 – to paper – AKA Microsoft Word.

After all, you’re not a painter if you’re not painting, and I’m not a writer if I’m not writing.

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