With the tingling that precedes the birth of ideas, a tingling that makes you want to do more than you had ever thought before, also comes the paralyzing fear of failure, of never quite shaping your reality to the perfect model of a life you have dreamt about.
That fear, has been with me for far too long.
Before typing the first sentence, I have already thought of how people won’t like it, how I will be laughed at or worst, ignored. I cringe at the thought that the words, that sound so potent and loud in my head, won’t be any louder than the squeak of a door. But most of all, I fear that the writer I dream of being will never be more than a nostalgia I cling to when I am grey and old.
It is this collection of fears that stop me from writing full paragraphs that have been floating in my mind for years. Stories have been lost forever because of this fear. The flawless construction of descriptions has crumbled into pieces I can’t put back together, all because I didn’t have the guts to put it out there for the world to see.
But this is not the post where I’ll let fear have its moment in the spotlight, but the post where I finally face it and hold my ground when I tell it it’s got no business being here anymore. For too long it has lingered and bothered. Too long it has served no purpose.
This is the moment I say to myself, and anyone who reads, that it is worth it. It’s worth it to click ‘Post’ while you tell that little voice in your head (the one that says “this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever written”) to go to hell. It’s worth it to feel silly, to feel unsettled and exposed because it means you are trying, you took the step forward instead of staying frozen. The embarrassment, the extra cups of coffee to jolt the enthusiasm, rewriting a sentence fifty times until it has melody… it’s all worth it.
I find myself constantly preparing for perfection. All the stars must be aligned in order to take action. And when they are not, I postpone. I need to have the perfect structure of the story in my head before my fingertips touch the keyboard, the right pictures, the absolute best looking website before I say “Now I can do it.” But now I know perfectionism is not my friend but a constant excuse maker for me to use when I’m too scared. When I’d say that I needed to write down all my ideas first, come up with a schedule, it would really translate “I am terrified of not being good enough and I will never become who I want to be.”
I vow to stop this search for perfectionism and begin a hungry quest for what is true. I promise to rip out of my vocabulary the sentence “I’ll do it later” or “This can wait”. I promise to stop thinking about those few times someone made me feel like I didn’t have it in me and recall every day the countless times I impressed someone or made them feel something with my words and I’ll use those moments like prayers from a rosary that will keep my spirits high when writing days don’t have better results than staring at a blank page. I promise to risk what I am for the possibility of becoming all that I ever wanted to be.
There is no more preparing to be done. No more excuses can be said, even if they are amusingly creative. It’s time to shoot and aim later, to fill pages and not edit as I go.