Despite being an English major, I tend to have an fear of writing. Thinking of my upcoming essay is terror inducing. The thought raises my cortisol levels and immobilizes my fingers to the keyboard. It’s also the reason why I haven’t been blogging in a few months. Every time that I’ve thought about my blog, I’ve found myself stuck in a rut without any idea about where to begin or what to write on.
Well hmm, maybe it’s time to change majors or quit the blog…….right?
Nope, sorry. I will admit that I actually truly enjoy the courses that I take for my major. And as blogging is a great way to shape, experiment, and convey a narrative to the world, I would be missing out if I stopped and gave up.
So, it’s not really the fear of writing that holds me back. I’ve written before; I can write again. Rather, it’s the fear of not writing well that creates my writer’s block. I am always afraid of stagnancy and crafting something that just sucks. When sitting at the keyboard, this perpetual idea hangs above me.
My brain shifts from A to C.
A. I am always afraid that I am not writing at the level that I could be.
B. I am not producing the content that I could be.
C. I am not as perfect as I should be.
Basically, I am afraid to try and to take a risk because I’m not perfect— a notion that is an absolute terrible way to think.
But, it’s a common thought that appears daily for most people trying to perfect a craft. We hold ourselves back with the idea of perfection. We view ourselves as unfit and not attaining our goals because our first attempt is not as great as we think it could be or it is not as amazing as someone else’s. Instead of trying again, most people become demotivated and just stop.
However, there is no way that anyone can move on and become better without taking risks or experimenting. Without taking the first step and being willing to continue with the second step, you can never truly achieve something great.
Firsts are not always perfect. First drafts, first time driving a car, and first time trying something new (like blogging) are not always as great as they are imagined be. But, it doesn’t mean that we should avoid them. While they’re not as “perfect” as we wish they could be, they just need that second draft to get somewhere useful. They need a second practice to become something great.
So instead of shooting for perfection, I think we should shoot for progress. You cannot write at the level that you could be if you don’t even start.
Revise, retry, and keep going are the only way for you to break out of the rut and become who you are meant to be.