Am I a Hack? The Fear of Writing
I sit here “trying to write” all day in my pajamas, dicking around on other websites pretending I’m looking for inspiration or procrastinating.
Why do I think what I have to say isn’t good enough to share? Even after amazing comments and views from so many people on things I HAVE shared. I guess the Imposter Syndrome never ends.
Does Stephen King question whether his next novel will suck?
I’m all about making buckets of money, but one does want a hint of integrity and fulfillment, and not be left an empty shell floating atop your millions of dollars. But that’s me.
I think of things to write and say, and then think they’re hack or dumb or obvious or stupid. The things I spend the most time and energy on are met with the most lukewarm reception. It’s usually the off the cuff comments that get the biggest laughs or the most highlights.
Maybe it’s because in those moments I stepped outside my mind where I like to hold myself hostage in front of a non-stop reel of self-judgement, hatred and comparison. Those spontaneous moments are real and vulnerable, more so than the things I agonize over sharing.
I used to sit down to my laptop or notebook and take HOURS to PERFECT an article I was considering sharing. Re-reading it, making sure the words felt right, as if my life, reputation, future job prospects depended on it, or that ANYONE would actually CARE. I would marvel at how other authors on this site, or anywhere, could crank out pieces every damn day when it took me a month to give birth to one.
I try way too damn hard. The end result is the same: a finished product. This is not my PhD dissertation or a victim statement or a job interview. This is just me being me.
Back before social media I didn’t judge my ideas. Now, I’ll write an article in my head but then write all the negative comments I expect to get, then decide not to even put words down on paper. The fuck is that? Bullshit is what that is. Utter bullshit.
Writing is something I’ll do whether I get paid or not. It’s who I am. So why have I been holding back? Fear of taking responsibility for being a writer and doing something about it, making something happen. The problem lies in feeling like I have to “make something happen” beyond “write and share it”. I worry about outcomes I have no control over because that’s easier than sitting down at the computer and puking vulnerability all over readers eyes.
I never thought in terms of what others would say about my writing. I focused on what I was trying to express and share and how it felt. Reading the litany of shitty comments on every tweet, picture, video, post, even comments on comments, has deterred me. I take on the weight of their shittiness, and they’re not even comments on my own shit. That’s fucked up and I’m over it.
My brother pointed out the kind of people who leave shitty comments on what you create are the lowest common denominator kind of people, and who cares what that kind of person thinks about anything you do? And damn if he ain’t right.
I’m tired of living small. I’m cramped and dying inside this self-imposed shell. Turn off your phone, sit still for just one moment and let yourself feel those emotions you keep cramming in a little black box, flip your haters the bird, including yourself, and then write that shit down. Repeat.