Fear of writing

Every once in a while I get afraid, like that’s it, like I’ve written all that I’m ever going to write, that the best is behind me, and that from here on out, it’s all going to be derivative nonsense. And this fear is always with me to some extent, I mean, I’m not doing this professionally yet, I’m still for the most part writing during my free time, before work, after work, on my days off.

And I’ve been doing it long enough that, well, hopefully I’ve improved somewhat, just through the day-to-day practice. Yeah, I know that I can put words down on a page on a regular basis. But is what I’m doing any good? That I can never really tell. I know that I’ve had stuff in the past fly out of my fingertips, stories that I don’t even know where they came from.

And I’ve had stretches of time where that mysterious sense of creation happened on a daily basis. Of course there’s the flipside to that, where I go on and on for days or weeks and I feel like I don’t have anything new to say, kind of like right now. I’ve been sitting here at the computer since last night. I was committed to writing something, anything. And now it’s the morning and I have nothing to show for it. I don’t know why. Everything was coming up empty.

Finally I decided to just get anything down, which is this, I’m really just kind of going off on how I can’t think of anything to write about right now, about how I’m worried that I’ll never be able to get in that groove again. It’s crazy because even when I don’t have anything specific to say, I still have that feeling inside, like I need to be sitting down at my computer, like something’s about to bubble up, right below the surface.

But, and I don’t know if this is going to make any sense, a lot of the time I’ll feel the ideas down there, but they never breach through to my conscious mind. And so I’m left just kind of sitting at the computer, ready to write, willing to put words down, but unable to make that first step. It’s very similar to that feeling when you have a sneeze coming, you feel it, you scrunch up your face and bring your hand to your mouth. And then nothing. That’s it. It goes away and you’re left with a sense that you just missed out on something.

There are so many more things that I want to do. I’d love to write a comic book, to write a longer short story, eventually a novel. And then I get to days like this where I can’t even get a page down to put on my blog, and that feeling is just so frustrating. Maybe I’m putting too much weight on this blog. I’m conflicted, because I haven’t missed a day in about two years now, and so I don’t want to break that streak. It gives me that added sense of urgency, like right now, when I can’t think of anything, at least I’ll get something, and even if it’s terrible, I don’t know, maybe I need to be willing to just put down something stupid in order to get back to not taking myself too seriously.

I could go on and on forever, overanalyzing this, rationalizing that. I have no idea what’s going on. But it feels like working out, like when I’m training for a race. Some days I’ll go out there and the runs will be so easy. Other days I’ll struggle just to get the bare minimum done. There are so many different factors that go into exercise, writing, working, everything. There’s the time of day, how much I’ve eaten, am I well rested enough?

I don’t know. I’m glad I got this out, because even though it doesn’t seem like much, it was a big deal for me just to get some writing done. I’ve just got to chill out. I’ve just got to ignore that fear, the voice telling me that I don’t have what it takes, that maybe I’ve written some cool stuff in the past, but that was it, and now it’s just going to be boring paragraph after boring paragraph for the rest of my life.

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