Writing is a fairly sedentary, safe past time. The risk of a paper cut, callouses from using a pen, or carpal tunnel from a poor workspace set up can be designed out, or at least managed, to minimise their likelihood. But how about putting that writing out into the public domain? as soon as I hit ‘publish’ or ‘send’ in the case of text or email, those words are out there and wide open to interpretation. What is the risk in that? Where do I begin?
Rejection, failure, judgement, vulnerability, revealing a poor grasp of spelling and grammar (yelp! the imposter syndrome!)
…the list goes on but at the heart of all that is the ego and a need for validation- like my work, like me! What is the consequence of that ‘failure’? Well, if I try to be rational about it- failure to have a receptive audience for my writing is really as inconsequential as a paper cut, it’s just that it doesn’t feel like it at the time. It is crushing and the sting remains long after the wound has healed over- sometimes creating enough scar tissue to make you lose heart and stop. But no, not me. I will embrace rejection and find the value in the lessons it provides. Continue reading
Why do I write? That is a question I have asked myself at times when I am busy with any number of obstacles to writing, such as rearranging my desk for the seventeenth time in a week; ‘researching’ ideas before falling into a cyber rabbit hole; going for a walk to get ideas, only to replay conversations long over; or, just plain staring at a blank page, favourite writing pen in hand (no product placement here).
To loosely borrow from Descartes, I write therefore I am. When I write, I am confronted with the question “who am I?” In practicing the craft, I can’t escape: questioning the authenticity in my voice; the struggle between writing what I want and writing what I think I should write; wondering whether I sound smart, funny, interesting. In other words, when I write, I peel away the many layers to reveal myself. My writing practice parallels my life journey. When I give in to it and stop caring what others think, I am at my happiest. It is then that I am receptive to serendipitous offerings; “mistakes” unveil gifts; and, on reading an un-censored piece, I find a depth I hadn’t consciously intended.
Writing makes me feel alive- the act of creation that conquers the destructive force of my inner critic. I write to discover who I am, and I find myself in the characters, scenes, weaknesses, challenges and self-revelations that my writing unveils. And so I repeat, I write, therefore I am. To overcome my obstacles, I will remind myself of that over and over and over again with every stroke of my pen and tap of my keyboard.
Write a manifesto, making a forceful case for something (prompt from this DPchallenge, with inspiration from this post on writing a manifesto)