Addressing One Of My Personal Fears


I get paralyzed sometimes when I write.

I fear I won’t be able to think of anything to put down. What if the words don’t make sense together? What if my thoughts don’t come across the way I planned? Sometimes I stare at the screen with my hands arched over the keyboard, like a stone. The cursor idles on the page blinking and blinking at me against that ghastly white backdrop.

Think. Think!

Sometimes, It’s our deepest fears that keep us from accomplishing some of our most sought after goals. My deepest fear happens to be for my biggest passion.
I can remember being a young girl and bundling a bunch of paper together. I made sure all the blue and pink lines aligned on the insides and the corners aligned on the outside. I’d grab a stick of glue and bind them all together. Then grab a mechanical pencil (gel pen towards late 2000’s) and begin writing stories. My mom would call me for lunch, my sisters would run in around me playing tag with each other, but I had my ankles crossed and a pencil clutched in my hand. I couldn’t be disturbed.

My imagination dashed and raced across the pages, where I told stories of young girls like me, adventures in the wild, and moving tips (because we moved a lot). I liked to see those words staring up at me and to know that I had put them there. When I was done, I’d draw on a few pictures and take the story to whomever would read or whomever would look at what i’d done and tell me it was great.

As I grew older, I noticed that there were some things I didn’t know about writing. One doesn’t just simply write. You must make notes, write drafts, check for mistakes, follow a format. I, admittedly, failed a lot at this during college and my passion for writing waned.

I found writing to be a chore and I looked upon those writing pencils and computer keypads with disdain. Where had all the magic gone? I surely thought it had left, but turns out it’s just hiding and waiting on me to boost my self confidence.

I think writing is like art. It takes on many colors, shapes, and sizes. It changes with your audience, your mood, and your everyday life. You must constantly work to perfect and protect your craft.

Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind — vividly, forcefully — that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn’t. — Maria Popova

As I ease back into what once came so naturally to me, I intend to keep those words in mind. My linguistic sensitivity lies in my hand and my aesthetic sensitivity lies in my heart. As long as they’re both working, I will continue to write, because I am/was born a writer.

What do some of the world’s most influential and interesting contributors think about subjects important to you? Find out by visiting The Opinionator from The New York Times


image – Drew Coffman