Why did it happen that as you’ve gotten older, you’ve lost your motivation to write? You have folders and notebooks both real and virtual that are completely full of stories. They’re mostly terrible, and mostly unfinished, but they represent an imagination that never lacked for an idea. Back then, you wrote because you enjoyed the story. You liked seeing how many pages you could fill with action and you liked being completely in control of what would happen to your characters. Their lives could go in any direction, and you were the one who decided which.
Now, you still really want to write. It’s the perfect way to say things without actually speaking. You even have a few ideas that flit around your brain, mostly for blog posts since you haven’t done fiction in ages. Maybe I could create a list of my favorite music, you think. Maybe I’ll write about makeup and my own personal journey with self-love. Maybe I’ll write about my actual life and describe my dreams and plans.
But then you second-guess yourself. You overthink things. My readers probably won’t like my music taste; it’s probably too bland for them, you say to yourself. You think there would be too much pop music on it, when bloggers are supposed to be hipsters who write in coffee shops and listen to funky bands, and you’re just sitting in a library and everyone already knows about the bands you like. You know this is not a valid excuse, because humans are diverse and wonderful and tend to appreciate things, but these thoughts still keep you from writing the post even though you’ve had the idea for forever.
Okay, what about the makeup idea? People love a feminist self-love issue. But maybe yours isn’t so much a journey as it is you not caring anymore. Do you really love yourself more now? Are you really more confident, or do you just not give a crap? You wonder if anyone really wants to read your internal monologue about whether or not you love yourself, and so you avoid writing the post altogether.
A lot of the time you don’t write because you have other things to do, like homework or hang out with your friends. So you think, why don’t you write about your life and what you’re doing with it? You could write one of those “a day in the life” posts. Like today, you woke up at 10, stayed in bed reading until 12, and now you’re not doing homework and kind of feeling like a failure because of that. The other bloggers my age that I know have really cool lives; they’re all super involved in their schools and hobbies. No one wants to read about what I’m doing on a Sunday.
So, instead of writing any of those posts, you end up talking to yourself on virtual paper, where your current internal monologue is preserved for everyone to potentially see. And actually, when you read back through it, you can see how silly it is that you don’t just write what you want to write, because the only thing holding you back is fear. You’re afraid of other people and you’re afraid of not being good enough, so sometimes you decide not to try. And that’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard.
Girl, you love writing. Most times you’re even good at it. Writing makes you feel accomplished and heard, even right now when you’re literally the only person listening to yourself speak. So next time you get the urge to write, just do it. It really is that simple.
Love and awesomeness,