"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

28 October 2010

Blogger's Block

In the past several days I've made multiple attempts at blog entries which have yet to grace anyone's screen but my own. Most revolve around horror movies/shows, one about writing, one about utterly random crap. Each one contains about two sentences I like and the rest, to me, look like Stephenie Meyer's high school paper reject articles. I'm making an assumption here, but anyone who's read more than two pages of a Twilight book without eyes clouded by sparkly descriptions of Edward's luscious lips and golden-melted-topaz-butterscotch eyes should understand how someone with an English degree feels about their writing with that comparison. I get all these seemingly great ideas in my head and then the minute I sit in front of the screen to type them out they seem pointless and lame. With the blogverse being vast and saturated with utter crap, I don't want to be another person adding to it. Anxiety begets uncertainty which begets a mental block which begets self doubt, and before you know it there are 600 words before you, less than 100 feel usable and now the whole concept of this entry feels like a massive waste of your time -- so how could anyone else want to read it?
This, dear readers, is what keeps many writers silent. The fear and powerlessness we feel when releasing our formed ideas into the world for anyone to judge. Though often our own worst critics, the internet excels at bringing out people who find new ways to terrify everyone including reclusive, schizo, miserable writers who just want someone to be (positively) affected by their writing. Writers are huge cowards. It's what keeps us trapped in the land of first drafts that never become final drafts. It's why we hold on to submissions which never leave the 'to be sent' drawer.
So here's where I make a request of both writer and reader. To readers I say this: next time you feel the urge to leave a negative comment on someone's blog about their opinion, think about how you'd feel if someone responded to you the way you're responding -- if someone has opinions you disagree with or a writing style you abhor, that's fine, but it's no reason to assault them with words from the safety of your computer screen. For writer's I say this: don't be afraid to post your thoughts, even when you think they are stupid or redundant, because in order to find your own voice you have to keep exercising it. Now, this isn't to give license to either side to be douchey and spiteful or to attack without educated and/or experiential reason. All I'm saying is writers are as insecure as any creative type, and yes criticism can be helpful, but writers shouldn't be afraid to write for fear of having their ideas shot down, and readers should acquaint themselves with models of respectful argument when criticising another's work.
Writers: Have courage and say what you feel, even if you think it's stupid at the time.
Readers: Feedback and contrasting opinions are great, just try to be constructive.
Everyone: DON'T BE A DICK.

I feel very comforted when one of my favorite bloggers experiences similar issues with blogger's block and/or feelings of fear and inadequacy over their writing. We all want to have the most awesome, wonderful, thought-provoking or at the very least, entertaining, blogs ever. all. the. time. Yet sometimes you just have to get drunk and say, "Fuck it, I'm blogging while drunk because the interwebs tell me it's awesome." And so you do. And then this happens.
And while there are (often Anonymous) jackasses who will never adhere to the 'don't be a dick' Rule of Life, there are also people out there who appreciate the candor, and amusement, the occasional insecure DrunkBlog can provide.

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