Writing Struggles

Do you struggle with writing? I do. Not the selecting of words, correcting of grammar, or removing of dangling participles, but rather the deciding of what to write articles about.

I’ve sat at the keyboard a dozen times in the last week or two, jaw set and brow furrowed, determined to break through my writers block like the Kool Aid Man through a kitchen wall.

And then nothing happens. I stare. Blink. Talk myself into making a fresh pot of coffee. Remind myself I haven’t slept well in months and that afternoon caffeine is the devil. After 20 minutes 60 seconds I give up.

Ever been there?

I spent some time navel gazing, took an Enneagram personality test (I’m a 7w8 if you’re into such things), prayed for a while, and developed a hunch.

You see, I’m good at writing. Or at least I’ve been told I’m good at writing. And being told you're good at something is a dangerous proposition because you might start to believe it.

I write in other contexts all the time. Documentation, marketing content, tiny little love letters to the geckos in my backyard. But when I set aside time to write here — a place that is supposed to reflect not a product or company, but the true and authentic me?

There’s nothing but white noise.

I’m think I’m trying to live up to others expectations of me. I don’t have a strong and driving force to be loved or anything like that, but I do want to provide value and do it reliably. My career depends on it. I think I’m afraid that if I write something that leaves out some important detail, or doesn’t showcase all of me in some way, or has been covered a thousand times already, that it will be a poor reflection and cast undue judgment upon my “image”.

This thought process is subconscious. Consciously I choose to ignore those base fears and desires, both in person and on Twitter. But there’s something about the written word that has gravitas to it. It’s sacred in a way because it may outlive me. Someday I’ll write an article and it will be my last. I want it to be a good one! But if I wait to publish until every article has everything I ever wanted to say on a topic, I’ll only ever have a small little handful, if any, and no one will ever read them.

So today I decided to write about why I haven’t been writing in hopes that it’ll get me writing again. It’s a trick that can only work once.

What’s your struggle with writing? If you don't have any, share your secrets with me. I can pay in D&D minifigures.

P.S. Someday I’ll tweet my last tweet, and it’ll probably say something like: “Airbnb but for leftovers”.

Published May 28, 2020

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