Writing can give me immense happiness and pleasure and also terrible performance anxiety. I love creating something beautiful with words. I like knowing that I have the power to shape the way people – my readers – think. My readers. I like that I have readers. It’s a privilege.
There’s a sense of confidence you need as a writer. You need to be brave enough to get the words out of your mind and onto the screen, and braver still to share it with the world. And you need to believe in yourself to keep going. Because everyone’s an editor.
I’m often scared of starting a piece of writing. Usually scared about writing something for someone else. What if it’s not good enough? Performance anxiety. I have to remind myself that in the end, it doesn’t matter and that although everyone’s an editor, I am always writing for myself. I think about the perfection versus excellence discussion I once had.
Writing is often a journey that leaves me breathless and teary, like I’ve just run a marathon. It can hurt but it always heals. It clears my mind and makes sense of situations, often ones of the heart. There’s always someone somewhere reading my thoughts that has some empathy.
I can tell the world everything yet tell a person nothing. And I am comfortable with that.
I worry about revealing too much. But often the best pieces I have written are the ones where I am vulnerable and a little bit sad. I can feel my readers reaching for my hand to hold. People know so much about me. I forget that sometimes.
Sometimes I tell people that I love them through writing. Indirectly of course. It’s safer that way. It’s love from a distance. They can read my words if they want to.
I fall in love with writing. Good lyricists and boys who can spell. Bloggers. Journalists. Novelists. I want to know good writers better. I drink up their lessons they’re inadvertently giving. I want to be as good as them.
I’m not very good at using a pen anymore. While I take pride in the words that tumble their way from my mind to the page, my handwriting suggests otherwise. I make notes in my iPhone. I write from my iPad and MacBook. Not a day goes by when I don’t jot an idea down. I have more than one serve of Apple a day.
Writing runs in my family. My father. My grandfather. His father. His grandfather. It’s nice to be tied to my heritage through the written word.
I want to make people think, but I don’t want to rock the boat. I want to row gently. But then I know I should write something that scares even myself. One day.
The Internet is the reason I write, and the reason I don’t. I’m usually not writing because I’m reading others’ writing online. I am good at procrastinating, but it’s purposeful procrastination. I’ve developed a sense of identity because of blogging. My thesis findings told me so. I’ve come out of my shell and found my tribe. Blogging has created such a sense of community. These friends I talk to on the Internet, they are real. I have met friends because we have connected through words.
I used to write poetry. It was hidden in ring-bound notebooks. It was lonely, love lost, naively sexual, and very much inspired by Silverchair’s Neon Ballroom. Now I’ve found myself, I no longer write true poetry. But I hope there is some poetry among the words I write here and elsewhere.
I find it a good challenge to switch between corporate and academic writing, and writing here and elsewhere in my own voice. I felt like I had broken ground by writing a 10,000 word thesis about new media in a conversational tone. And received a high distinction.
In my day job I am a stickler for writing rules. Style guides, font, colours, plain English. But here there are only self imposed rules – good spelling and interesting content. I like that blogging allows me to employ the skills I learnt in journalism studies yet gives me the freedom to start a sentence with And.
One day I’d like to write something really intricate, like a literary version of lacework or leadlight. Something to make readers gasp and leave their hearts pounding and breathless – like the writing process – and other writers – left me. For now I’m just aiming to throw my words like glitter into the universe and hope someone catches them. And enjoys them.