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Dead_Fish_by_iamdeadfishWriting is hard. Writing a book is insane.

 

I sit down to write, my palms sweating and Saturn’s fat ass sitting right on my heart. I can’t breathe.

 

Oh, this is too hard.

 

I manipulate each sentence. I spent half an hour picking a right word in paragraph three, as if hoping it would save the entire page, which still looks an unsalvagable shame after a two hour battle with the word processor.

 

Maybe your’re not meant for this, a voice in my head says. That’s right. After all, I couldn’t even write a proper thank-you note in English ten years ago. And now I suddenly expect to sit next to Shakespeare in heaven? What am I thinking?

 

“You’re one crazy, crazy chick, Natasha,” the voice says.

 

I get a little panic. Oh, I must be doing it all wrong. God pity me! I have nothing original to say. My life is totally ordinary and who am I to think I can write a memoir and expect people to read it? Such stupidity! I will fall on my face, for sure. I will eat earthworms for the rest of my life. I will be a public shame, or not, because the world won’t even notice, not more than it notices the death of a goldfish. Gosh I wish I had failed more often in the past so that it wouldn’t hurt as much this time…

 

These are the thoughts that constantly run through the back of my mind whenever I sit down to write, whenever I want to give the world a little something I figure it hasn’t seen before. At first I just wished they’d go away after a while. But they didn’t. And then I got impatient. I’d strike them down with a hammer the size of a watermelon whenever they rear their ugly head up from my subconscious. “Stop thinking such loser thoughts!” I’d yell at myself. “Be more positive!!”

Unfortunately, my negative judgment against my negative judgment against myself doesn’t make me more positive.

If anything, it made me an exhausted mess covered in the blood of self denial.

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Then one day I was too worn out. And as I sat down to write, the voice got excited.

 

“You are stupid!” It said.

 

I wanted to fight back, but simply didn’t have the energy. Then suddenly, something that was holding on so tight in me relaxed. “Sure, I am stupid. Thanks for the reminder.” I said, typing away on my computer.

 

The voice: “What you write is awful!”

 

Me: “You’re right. It’s disgusting.”

 

The voice: “You’re wasting your time! You’ll never get published! Never!”

 

Me: “I know. I know. But I’ve got nothing better to do. You have any other ideas?”

 

The voice: “This is so sad! This is pathetic!”

 

Me: “Yeah, right. I’m depressed already.”

 

The voice: “&^$#@%!^&):>?&^($#*%$@~<*p;\`e,;!@$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

Me: “That’s lovely. Would you like to take a little break now?”

 

Miraculously, the voice quieted down. Without an opponent, its victory must have felt a little empty. I got to enjoy a peaceful writing session, and realized, after a while, that by trying to suppress it, I had taken the judgmental voice in me way too seriously. Instead, I now find the following to be true:

 

  1. The voice in your head is not dictation from God. Just the opposite, if you cannot stop creating despite your self judgement, you’re divinely inspired.
  2. Your self judgment can hurt no one but your ego. A corollary: If you don’t carry your ego around your creative venues, you’re basically bullet-proof.

 

That being said, the judgmental voice is part of you after all. It deserves to be loved and recognized just like any other part of you. Don’t judge it. Listen to it and give it love instead.

In fact, you should be proud that your mind can come up with such powerful thoughts that can almost stop you from creating anything new. That is how powerful you are!

I sit down to write, my palms still sweating and Saturn’s ass still siting on my heart. Yet I will not stop just like I cannot stop breathing as long as I’m alive.

Creating is what it means to be alive.

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74 Comments

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