I have never considered myself much of a writer. Oh sure I can write, but I’m not so sure I can write, you know? Sometimes I am possessed by some entity that compels me to write down things that may perhaps aspire to true penmanship on a slow day. But mostly I try to keep my pen carefully stowed away.

Some people might wonder why. A few of my friends actually think I can write (I know! Shocking isn’t it?!) and this recently got me asking myself why I don’t write as much as they think I should.

The first reason may not come as a surprise to you. I’m not terribly good at it. For one thing I have already used the word “I” more times than is prudent to not come off as narcissistic and self-absorbed. Which I am, sometimes. [The self-absorbed thing, not the narcissistic thing. Yes, really. Oh, you think so?? Well screw you; I never really liked you much anyway!]

The second reason is I’m paranoid about what people will think about the quality of my work. On a particularly randy day I wrote a song. Not just any song, mind, but a song for a Christmas nativity musical! I called it The Night of Miracles. The words and melody just bubbled up from some recess in my soul that I didn’t even know existed. My mind wove the fabric of verse and symphony into a beautiful tapestry of musical delight the like of which mankind has never known. And then I recovered and threw it away. “It’s not good enough!”, I told myself. [Yes, I talk to myself a lot. Get over it.] “It doesn’t have enough complex chords and progressions to really impress!” This wasn’t strictly true but my paranoia took the day and the song was shelved. Collective sigh.

The third reason…[wait, isn’t this thing too long already??]…is one of hubris: I am a man of science! I don’t get all mystical and metaphysical and flouncy with words and feelings and such. I don’t drift off in Morpheus’ arms or contemplate the beauty of the sunrise or drink deep from the nectar of dreams. I embrace logic, reason, empiricism and rationality, not these foolish flights of fancy. To sum it up in four words: “The Arts are yucky!”

So I’m persistent in resistance. When I feel a longing deep inside me to just break loose and take wing like Icarus, my bias against the Arts anchors me firmly onto solid ground. When I feel electrified by the prospect of wonder, I am effectively “earthed” [see what I just did there? Anyone? Come on, don’t tell me that wasn’t funny!? No? Tough crowd…]

So there you have it. I am not a writer, not because I’ve got nothing to write about, but because I am afraid. Afraid of what people like you will think, but mostly because of what I will think. I am my most unforgiving critic; I am my own greatest fear; and thus my pen remains as still as my heart.

P.s I was kidding earlier. I like you.