Last night, I tossed and turned in bed, thinking about the entry I posted yesterday about perfectionism. I felt that it was nowhere near my best work. I talked about how smart I am, which I am sure could be off-putting to a lot of people. I am in no way superior to others because of my intelligence, but I may have given off that vibe yesterday. I was afraid that I was going to lose readers and friends over that entry.
Fast forward to this morning: I was trying to think of topics to write about today, and I could not think of a thing. I had writer’s block. I had let fear from last night set in.
I’ve heard the notion that writer’s block is actually fear in a clever disguise. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m going to write. I’m afraid of what will flow out of my fingers as I type. I fear that my writing won’t be any good, and that I will become a miserable failure.
That’s it. My writer’s block stems from fear of failure. That’s what kept me from writing creatively for years. I tried to run away from fear, only to confront it over and over again. I let fear paralyze me, and keep me from making any sort of forward motion.
I’ve mentioned before that one needs to lean into fear — not run away from it or try to work around it. When one works through the fear, one eventually attains success. There may be failures along the way, but I could let failure become a teaching opportunity for me. I could reflect on what went wrong in my venture, and then try another strategy.
I don’t know whether this blog is going to succeed or fail. It’s too soon to tell. This concept that I am attempting might not work in the long term. But that’s OK. I’m always coming up with new ideas (except when I have writer’s block!), so I can try a new idea and see if it sticks.
Eventually, I will succeed. For now, I am practicing my style and finding my writer’s voice. I’ve kept quiet for far too long. The longer I speak, the more I will hone in on my distinctive brand. I will come up with some gibberish sometimes, but I can use that as a teaching tool for what not to say in the future.
I felt that my blog entry yesterday was a dud, but I’m not going to delete it and only present the best version of myself. I made a pact to myself to be open and vulnerable. It’s tough a lot of the time, but it’s perhaps the most significant predictor of my success as a voice for mental health awareness.
Depression set in yesterday after I published that blog entry. I let my perception of failure control my emotions. I’m not sure whether depression is a typical response to my scenario. Neurotypical people, please chime in. All I know is that it commonly happens within myself.
I’m afraid. I’m so afraid. I want people to like me, but I know I will meet some dissenters who will come across my blog. For my entire life, I’ve encountered people who didn’t like me, but I think that’s more a reflection upon themselves than upon me. Those people don’t matter in my life. I’ll take constructive criticism into consideration, but I won’t consider insults anymore.
And look, I have an entry for today. I did not let writer’s block get the best of me after all. I confronted the topic and broke through it. I like breaking barriers. I don’t do that enough in my life. It’s something I want to do more. I have a feeling that I will be breaking through the mold a lot from now on.