I’m sitting here trying to get this done and it’s entrenched in my mind as a task. I’ve got a list I’m running down. I need to get to my friend’s house to play a few games of Magic. Before I can do that I need to travel there. Before I can do that I need to put on clothes. Before I do that I need to eat dinner. Preceding any of that is writing this entry, because the other things are much harder to procrastinate so fervently about. I adore the idea of tackling a solid topic and writing something with clout behind it, but I’m realistic about time constraints. I want to finish this within the 30 minute time span because I have things I’ll actively enjoy doing tonight. The necessity of writing gets in the way of my enthusiasm. I’m not writing because I have something to say, I’m writing because I’ve resigned myself to flexing these mental muscles every day. Sometimes those muscles ache. I think I don’t have some important thinkpiece in me to espouse heartfelt beliefs. Anything I’d want to look into with some depth would actually take effort and care, two things that are often absent in this space.
You know how yesterday I was talking about my confidence issues and fear of failure (in a roundabout way)? I thought again about it today. It goes without saying that I’m my own biggest obstacle to my personal success (because nobody is stopping me from doing anything). Since waking up, it really sunk in. I read a number of articles that friends or acquaintances had written and thought to myself wow, they’re much better writers than I am. I could never compete. I thought about it again and realised that a) there was no competition, that they were writing from the heart about issues relevant to them, issues that weren’t topics I had any stake in. Then b) I have all the ability, but the lack of follow through. I know people who I could approach with spec topics. I just need to spend even an hour knuckling down and putting my head towards where exactly my interests lie. I could write pieces and hopefully have them resonate with random internet strangers.
There’s an almost unfathomable excuse that rises to the top whenever I think of revisiting certain topics. If I’ve written about something before here, it curbs my desire to tackle the same subject in a longform piece that I devote more than 30 minutes towards. Something about it feels like plagiarism, like I’m stealing someone’s thunder. I get the same unease as when I’m telling a story to someone that I’ve previously told them. It feels like I’m cheating, because I’m building upon pre-existing material instead of crafting things myself. I’m sure you’ve noticed the idiocy here, given that I wrote the damn thing in the first place. I can’t be plagiarising from my own thoughts. I wouldn’t blame myself for parallel evolution (which I’m sure is rife in here. My life isn’t complex enough to have 1000+ unique things to talk about), but anything pre-meditated has a sinister aura to it.
Fuck that noise. I want to write something good and if that means rehashing an old topic in order to build upon it then that’s something I’ll have to live with. I’ve said to these friends with editorial space hey, if there’s something you like and you’d want me to redo in an effective manner, let me know. Is that laziness? Is it an attempt to take the burden of choice out of my hands? Is it fear over not knowing if something I’ve written connects to others or has any substance? Or conversely is it a fear to own the notion that sometimes I do write things of worth? That if I take pride in something I’ve put to page, suddenly I’m faced with the notion of calling myself a writer? Having to understand the line between confidence and arrogance instead of resorting to self-deprecation?
Can one of you writers that I know please chime in and tell me that you feel the same impostor syndrome every time your fingers touch the keyboard?