I’ve been staring at the computer for about an hour in an attempt to write this post. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
I’ve written and deleted a blurb of apology and explanation for accidentally taking a month off from the blog. It didn’t feel authentic, however. It isn’t that I’m not sorry, but I felt more obligation to write the post than a feeling that doing so would add value to your life, reader.
I’ve written and deleted at least 5 draft titles. Including but not limited to:
“What I’ve Learned in One Month Off from the Blog” (which when I wasn’t sure what I’d learned, I decided to try something else)
“Know Thyself” (which is pretty much my motto, but it wasn’t quite right)
“Knowing Thyself Allows you to Be Authentically Yourself” (which is a better title, but after sitting with a blank page under that title for 30 minutes, I may not quite be ready for the post)
Which leads me to this post … hello writer’s block, hello old friend and adversary … Have you ever noticed that when you’re around, you either bring the friends “negativity” and “self-doubt” with you or you simply open the space for them to make an appearance?
Does this happen to anyone else?
This morning, I haven’t even written anything yet and what keeps popping into my head are things such as, “It doesn’t matter what you write, you’ve been working at this for over a year and you have, what, 50 readers?” or “You can’t think of something you learned in the past month? You’re a waste!” or “You’re simply using other people’s ideas you don’t have anything original to say” or “You know that you’re not a very good writer, you personally know good writers, they understand grammar, they understand discipline, you barely know grammar and you dabble in the discipline they dwell in, you’re not a writer, why are you trying?”
Yeah, it’s not always very pretty to hear what is being said in by the small voices in my head.
This is why I’m sharing them with you. As Brene Brown has taught, part of the strength of these voices is found in their secrecy. I do not share them so that you will feel bad for me. I share them because I hope that together we can call them out for fraudulent ideas that they are.
Here goes nothing, my first attempt to journal about “shhhh”ing these voices:
To the voice that says:”It doesn’t matter what you write, you’ve been working at this for over a year and you have, what, 50 readers?” here’s my initial gut response: While I love and appreciate everyone who has read this blog, while I would be lying if I didn’t get a small high every time I look at the blog stats and see that my numbers have gone up and there are times when I’m sad that this blog hasn’t become a Nation-wide sensation, I also know that the motivation behind this blog is not numbers driven. There are a lot of things I could do (should do?) to increase my numbers. I haven’t made this a priority … yet?
To the voice that says: “You can’t think of something you learned in the past month? You’re a waste!” here’s my gut initial response: Oh, be quiet! I’ve learned a lot this month. Is all of it blog-worthy? Maybe, maybe not. You may have had an argument until you said I was a waste. No matter what, my life is not a waste. My friends and family would be so upset to hear you say that, I am blessed to have a family that would never say that, what gives you the right to say it?
To the voice that says: “You’re simply using other people’s ideas you don’t have anything original to say” I say this: As long as I don’t plagiarize, using or adding to the ideas of others is pretty much all of life. As I believe that everyone’s voice is unique, then there is a chance that what I have to say may be fresh and new.
To the voice that says: “You know that you’re not a very good writer. You personally know (like have met in the flesh and had amazing conversations with) good writers, they understand grammar, they understand discipline, you barely know grammar and you dabble in the discipline they dwell in, you’re not a writer, why are you trying?” I say: Ouch. I don’t know why it hurts most to hear that I can’t apply the label of “writer” to the definition of Megan Fackenthal. I don’t know why of all the voices in my head this one is the loudest one, the most prevalent one. This is the one I can hear in so many different voices ranging from teachers to my own. I have tried and failed to use this voice to fuel a drive to learn grammar. This voice is the biggest de-motivator. This voice hurts the most. I know this voice is filled with flawed and simply inaccurate data and comparisons which cannot be validated. I’m trying because I want to defeat this voice!