I’ve been thinking about writing, but not actually writing, and so I’ve asked myself the question, “am I afraid to write?” I answered myself with, “maybe I am, or maybe I’m just lazy.”I think both answers are correct. So what did I decide to do? I decided to write about being too scared and too lazy to write. I’m tempted to leave it at that. A 59 word blog post, the contents of which have the potential to be meaningful but fail to do anything except waste the reader’s time. That is, if there is a reader.
Fear is a natural instinct meant to protect us humans from sabre toothed tigers and what-not. There aren’t many sabre toothed tigers on the Internet (sure a Google search brings up 903,000 results for the long extinct cat but it’s just pictures of them and words about them). Yeah, so I know I’m safe from prehistoric carnivores, and it’s good to get that out of the way. So what else could I possibly be afraid of?
What comes to mind first is grammar. Specifically, I fear the dreaded comma and its friends the colon and semicolon. Every time I think I’ve figured it out, and that I’m ready for anything a sentence cares to throw at me, I stumble upon another situation where a comma might be grammatically necessary, or it might be correct, or it might be optional, or it might even be WRONG! If I were better at drawing, I think I’d draw a tiger whose sabre teeth were made from commas. That would be fun.
Is the fear of making grammar mistakes the true reason for my aversion to writing, or could it be something more deeply rooted? Let’s examine this. When I think about writing a new post, what triggers my anxiety? I’ll make a list (in no particular order):
1. I don’t have anything interesting to say.
2. I say the same things over and over, and over.
3. I’m going to sound too self-deprecating.
4. I put in too many dumb pieces of my amateur artwork.
5. This is getting me nowhere. I haven’t achieved fame and fortune from this yet and probably never will, so why bother.
6. Hardly anyone is reading this.
Some of that is about fear and some of it is self-pity. What about the lazy side of this coin? Do I need to make a list? Lazy is just lazy.
1. I don’t feel like doing it.
2. I have too many things I want to write about that I’m overwhelmed.
3. I’m playing Angry Birds.
So it’s a bit of both and I think one feeds the other. But hey, I just wrote over 400 words, and I used lots of commas (maybe too many).
I feel better now.