Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let's Say Fear...

Let's just say we're not making excuses, that we are all highly, fully-committed, dedicated writers (not saying that you and I are not dedicated and committed), that never for once deliberately decide to skip our daily writing routine, not because we have to, or because we have some life-threatening-emergency, or because we were stranded on a dessert island, lost without computers, pen, paper, electricity, food and whatsoever, but because we can. Let's say the terms "lazy" and "procrastination" do not exist. Let's say fear is the thing that's holding us back.

Fear. Quite a strong word, don't you think? In the world where we keep talking about breaking boundaries, going against all the rules and being as fearless and adventurous as we can, how could we be possibly talk about fear? Well, that's the thing. When fear gets a hold of us, we don't write, we talk. It's one of those moments when you feel like you had it in you, all these great ideas, these things you want to write about, share to the whole world, and just when your fingers start to tingle from the excitement of it all your head goes: nah, that's too good for today, save it for tomorrow. What happens next is that we note down the idea on a piece of paper, shove it back in the drawer, think hard of another idea to use and after a few minutes of blank thoughts, we start to lose the excitement we have over the idea you had inside your drawer, we gave up, and we end up with zero words written on the screen. If that's not fear talking right there, I don't know what that is. If that's not the fear of not being able to come up with another great idea, again, I don't know what that is.

On other times we let ourselves go along with the "great idea" and decide to write about it for our 1500-word essay assignment but end up spending hours, possibly days, just to complete the introduction part. (Okay, so for this case, most of the time it's not fear, it's probably just us making excuses because we're too lazy to get our head down to write, but let's say fear is the only thing there is holding us back.) This is not because we needed to do research, this has nothing to do with data, but it I bet it has a lot to do with crafting that perfect first sentence. I bet this has everything to do with finding the right combinations of words, the right analogy, the right hook, basically that one perfect paragraph that will make it the best essay ever written in the history of mankind. I don't know about you but I do this a lot, it probably happens to me every single time I sit down to start working on an essay.

The worse part is that even thought I've tried so hard to get it right the first time I never seem to succeed. The harder I try, the worse my sentences turned out to be. The WORST part is that we never seem to remember that we could always, ALWAYS edit the draft, with all the shitty and humiliating parts in it, into perfection. Let me say this again: we could always, ALWAYS, edit our shitty first drafts into perfection.

And all this trouble... holding back, spending hours in front of your computer screen staring at a blank page, throwing one paper after another into the trash can until all the paper's gone because of that one word that just doesn't seem right, forcing us to go through tight diet for the next few days because you gained 3 pounds from all the chocolate eaten to calm the nerves as we endure through this long, winding, writing journey... just for the sake of our own fear of making mistakes, of writing something that could (possibly) embarrass us as writers, when this "something" can be easily erased or rewritten into something else once we have finished.

Wow. Need I say more?

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