Anywho, Kelsey and Kenyon have asked me to write a blog post for you wonderful people—no specifications otherwise, just something with personality.
(If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that was a challenge.)
So, I want to use this opportunity to talk to you about a serious condition that I like to call pre-creative paralysis, or PCP. No—you know what?—scratch that, call it pre-essayic nothingness, or PEN. No, wait, scratch that, too. I guess what I’m trying to talk about is false starts in writing or the lack of a start at all. Whenever I read anything, I’m constantly amazed by writers’ first words in a piece. Not the words themselves, I guess (they’re usually “the” or some equally unremarkable article), just the fact that the word is even there. Writing, for me, is fraught with procrastination, anxiety, self-doubt, constant questioning—and that’s before I even begin to write. I’ve found myself hovering over paper or keys with my fingers caught in this arthritic-looking abeyance at the blank page before me. Every blink of the cursor or tick of the clock seems to be a question: “Why haven’t you written anything? Are you afraid?”
What are my fears? Well, mostly that whatever I write will suck and the Writing Gestapo will come to my house and arrest me and bring me off to some gulag where I’ll be forced to write only well-written, polished-on-the-first-draft pieces day after day as punishment for my sucky writing. But, to my surprise, I am neither smote by the writing gods nor arrested by the Writing
Gestapo whenever I write something that sucks. (That’s all the time, by the way.)
Maybe they believe in second drafts.