The Writer Who Is Afraid to Write
“How can such a thing be possible?” I question myself, knowing that pursuing one’s passion is supposed to feel liberating.
Mine, on the other hand, feels like suffocation, as a strenuous game of tug-of-war is constantly at play within my mind.
To write or not to write. The flag doesn’t tip to either side; my two opposing thoughts continue to tirelessly pull me apart to no avail.
What once started off as an inevitable lifeline of expression soon became a guilt-ridden and shameful act to do.
Every word became something to cringe over, as I was constantly causing myself to be overwhelmed with the mountain of expectations that I, for some reason, had set for myself.
I know. It is my mental health that plays a big role in this. My anxiety makes it hard for me to put words onto the page, even the ones you are reading now.
For years and years, I have been at the mercy of this game, feeling either frozen and unable to create something or sounding like a broken record, constantly complaining about my fight with this battle.
“No one cares about my writing.” But do they have to? I’m writing so that I can improve myself and I’m publishing my words because I want to hold myself accountable to my craft.
“People are going to judge me.” As do I judge others, but with the ability to mind my own business if I engage with something I subjectively do not like.
“I need to reach a certain number of interactions/impressions/likes.” We all care about this, but the artist should not be swayed by numbers. Even though numbers of some-such-thing may increase, the artist doesn’t create for the numbers, but for the souls who may resonate with their art.
Everything has to be written perfectly and has to make sense. I don’t allow myself any room for mistakes, even though I know that thoughts of improvement never leave the mind of an artist — what we create can always be better.
So, how does one break free from this cycle? I find myself once again in the eye of the storm. I know now that I must surrender to it.
In the face of the barrier I have created, the sound pulsing from the deepest part of my heart never ceases to tell me that I must write.
I must learn to live with these thoughts and not let them consume me. I must find a way to liberate the players of this tug of war, not wanting either side to lose. Why?
Because I must have love for every aspect of myself. I must greet myself with love rather than with shame. I must always encourage myself no matter how repetitive or long this behaviour continues.
The writer is afraid to write but it will never lose its purpose, just like the sun overcast by clouds.