I’ve been trying to write something over the past few days. If I give the excuse that life happens, I think it would be just lame. So, let me put it like this. There is a succession of thoughts, a thread but it is so fluid that before I know it coalesces into several streams and just flows away. I had even reached out to the writing community on Twitter asking for ideas to get the writing mojo back. Of course, I received some wonderful, practicable suggestions. It got me thinking. Why do I fear not being able to write for a day or two days or a week? That’s not much time, right?
When I had started out on this journey, it was to loosen up. I would say there was no fear. As I navigated through this writing world, meeting others, getting sucked up into groups and activities of the community, it began to worry me. I soaked up suggestions and dictums and rules. Yes, there was a lot to learn. And learn we must. But at what cost?
From writing at my own pace to making a schedule and writing every day. People began to hound me with questions about writing a book. Next, they would probably be asking me if it was a best-seller!
I wanted to shout from the rooftop, “Hey! I don’t have a story.”
It was nerve-racking. How far could I push myself? I felt conscience-stricken when I did not write. What had I bargained this for? As I looked around me, I realised that more and more writers were probably sailing in the same boat. The fear of not writing rules writers.
Much that many of us do profess it is for the love of writing that we write, I beg to differ. It is for the fear of not being able to write that a lot of us write. I sometimes console myself that it isn’t yet a vocation for me and I have an unfinished pile of work at my desk from my day job, but somewhere along I do think it is just another way to vindicate myself. I know I should be writing. Could you say that I have probably joined the ranks of the fearful.
They say fear can also give you courage. Quite paradoxical but I’ve seen that happen. I don’t know if my fear of not being able to write every single day will give me courage, and if yes, what sort…but I do wish to get rid of this fear. And I think the writing world by and large must get over the twitchiness that comes from not writing, the fear of losing, the fear of doors closing, the fear of being an outsider in the community, the fear of their writing being judged. Because when we set out, we had none of these standards to match. The arts should cease to be a race. The arts are meant to resuscitate. Not to extinguish.
If you do not think like any of what is written here, congratulations! You are writing for all the right reasons. And if you identify with any of the above, I hope our writing (yours and mine) can help deliver us from the fear of not writing!