A Writer’s Kryptonite

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I have been very bad about posting to my blog since I returned from vacation a week and a half ago, and at first I thought my mind was still in vacation mode. While at the beach I did no work because I wanted to enjoy my time, plus I was either busy or dead tired. Upon returning home my mind said that it was okay to take a few more days off from writing, and that turned into a few more days.

I am no stranger to procrastination, but for once it doesn’t feel like I’m waiting until the last possible second to post something new. Instead, every time that I think about my next blog post my mind just goes blank. It’s like a giant white room up there, filled with nothing at all. I consider myself to be a creative person and this situation is uncomfortable. I’ve run into writer’s block before and that’s never fun, but at first this total lack of inspiration didn’t make sense to me. I feel as though someone waltzed into my brain and turned off a switch, forever denying me the ability to come up with good ideas.

I know that I’m not totally helpless. It might be a good idea to try writing somewhere other than my apartment. Whenever I’m at home the siren song of my TV and couch is more desirable than the work and focus required to write something good. There’s also the option of forcing myself to write something whether it’s good or not; it may not be up to my standards but at least I’ll stick to my schedule.

I realized that there is one thing, though, that may be the source of my frustration. A week or so ago I read through the posts that I’ve written thus far and realized that, while I like the ideas behind them, I’m not such a fan of how they’re written. When I read them to myself they sounded pretentious and unclear, the pride that I felt upon first posting them nearly gone. It’s like when you look at old Facebook pictures and cringe at the fact you thought they were cool once. I think that most writers, and artists in general, are hard on themselves and constantly feel the need to revise, but it’s difficult to tell if I’m striving to be better or if my posts are just plain bad. Self-doubt is a poison that races through my veins, consuming me the second I allow it entrance into my thoughts. I think it’s good to look at my work with a critical eye, but sometimes my own criticism morphs into a subconscious fear that I’m not good enough. And once I start thinking that, it’s no surprise that my ideas flee in terror.

I don’t really know how to conquer this issue besides pushing through it, like an armor-clad knight charging into battle. I want to be satisfied with my work and look back on it with some level of pride, even if it isn’t everything that I want it to be. For me it’s important to remember that every time I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, my writing is improving. Maybe I will never be a great writer, canonized in a Norton’s anthology or with thousands of blog followers, but I think I owe it to myself to keep writing. It makes me happy, and that’s probably the most important thing about any form of self-expression.

I know my ideas are hiding in my brain somewhere, and I will wait until they make themselves known once again.

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