Look, y’all. I know I’ve got a problem. I am trying to do better. I really am, but it’s hard. You might be wondering which problem I speak of. It’s a problem with my writing. I love writing. I do. It’s a form of therapy, processing, and decompressing. My problem comes when it comes time to write something for public consumption. I will be brimming with ideas. Thoughts will come to me as I sit in meetings, peruse the internet, or watch TV. I jot them down so I can remember the brilliant things I plan to share with the anonymous masses of the interwebs on this very blog. The problem is that the second I sit down to actually start writing/typing, I go blank. Every argument I had to support the (very brief) points I jotted down fly out the window, and I am left with nothing but empty head space.
I am not entirely sure what leads to this ridiculous writer’s block. I can tell you that it is not a problem I ever had in high school, college, or even grad school. Of course, in all of those cases I wasn’t writing for the masses. I wasn’t generating material from thin air. I was writing for a very specific purpose (class) to a very specific audience (my professors or TAs). I knew going into those projects that nobody beyond the person grading my essay or paper was likely to read it. Any feedback I received was likely to be related to formatting or editing. I would collect my grade a move on.
When it comes to this blog, for publication, for ideas for what I might someday write for a dissertation, I freeze. I have no idea who out there will read what I write (if anybody). A troll could plant themselves in the comment section and rip what I write to shreds. There is no guiding assignment to keep me on topic. A post could quickly unravel from carefully crafted to circular ramblings. Some stranger out there could think, “Why does this woman think she needs to be anywhere near a pen/keyboard?” Is it imposter syndrome? Not really. It’s not that I don’t think I deserve the webspace, nor do I think that you’ll one day discover that I’m a fraud. I’m far from it. I have a graduate degree and a job that I’m quite good at. No. I think it’s fear. Fear of sharing the most vulnerable me with the world. Fear that somebody might actually like what I write and want me to write more. Fear that one day I’ll be expected to follow through on my decade long promise (or threat) to write my autobiography.
What’s my problem? My problem is fear.