I feel like a fraud. I sit here “trying to write” all day long in my pajamas as I dick around on other websites pretending I’m looking for inspiration or knowingly wasting time and procrastinating.
Why do I think what I have to say isn’t good enough to be shared? Even after amazing comments and views from so many people on things I HAVE shared. What the fuck, man? I guess the Imposter Syndrome never ends.
Does Stephen King question whether his next novel will suck or not? I mean, he started writing under the nom de plume Richard Bachman (how pretentious of me to use “nom de plume”) to see if people would buy his books because they were good and not just because they said “Stephen King” on them. 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 seem to spend the most time and energy on are the things that seem to be 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 and self-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 all 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 any other authors on this site, or anywhere, could crank out pieces every damn day when it took me a month to emotionally give birth to just one.
As always, 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 fucking job interview. This is just me being me.
Back before social media I didn’t judge my ideas as harshly. I’ll write an article in my head and then write all the negative comments I expect to get on it and decide to not even put words down on paper. The fuck is that? Bullshit is what that is. Utter bullshit.
Writing is something I’ve always done and will always do, whether anyone ever pays me to do it or not. It’s my form of expression and I can’t live without it. So why have I been holding back? Fear of having to take responsibility for the fact that I am a writer and do something about it, make something happen. And maybe 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 way easier than sitting down at the computer and puking vulnerability all over readers eyes.
I never used to think 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 conceivable 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 that the kind of people who leave shitty comments on anything you share or 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 and I’m ready to tell the rest of the world and my self-haters to fuck off and die. There’s a new sheriff in Niki Town. And it’s Niki.