Here We Go
Updated: Feb 4, 2020
New Year, New Me
— Every Cringe-Worthy Post On Social Media Before The New Year
I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you make mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. — Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art
I don’t know what I’m doing. I suppose no one really does, but that doesn’t help the constant internal monologue that plays in my head like one of my dad’s scratched old vinyls. You don’t know what you’re doing. Everyone can tell. Stop pretending like you have it all figured out. You don’t know anything. Stop writing. Why do you even try. Nothing you do will ever be good enough.
For a long time I tried to fight that voice. Tried to convince myself that it wasn’t true, that I really did know, at 21, exactly what I was doing. But fighting it only made it worse. I was so afraid that it was right that I shut down, so afraid to fail that I stopped trying all together. I isolated myself, holing up in my basement apartment for so long I nearly forgot the sound of my own voice. I smoked myself into a complacent oblivion, hiding behind the weightless haze it allotted; the periods of escape grew shorter and shorter as my mind got used to living in this space just outside reality.
If it weren’t for school, I probably wouldn’t have written a single word. Anytime I tried to put pen to paper (or more accurately fingers to keyboard) my body would tense and the record would start anew in my mind, taking a featured solo in the cacophony symphony that are my thoughts. I would get out a few words, maybe even a sentence, before the voice shouted over my shoulder. And I tried to tell it that it was wrong. That I could do better. That I was better.
But I’m not.
And that’s okay.
Because I want to be better. I want to write stories that change peoples lives. I want to write a story that changes my life. And I can’t do that if I don’t write – too afraid of failure that I never let myself begin.
So that’s what this is. This is me letting myself fail. Letting myself make mistakes. Letting myself know that No. I don’t know what I’m doing, and maybe I never will. And I have no doubt that voice is going to be there, hovering over my shoulder, for a long time to come – but hopefully it gets a little quieter.
I’m going to be doing Tim Clare’s 100 Day Writing Challenge. I don’t think I’ll be posting what I write every day. My plan for the time being is to post a weekly update, maybe with my favorite thing I’ve done over the past week, maybe a word count, some feelings I have going on. Maybe I’ll even use this as some kind of journal, like every writing teacher and therapist I’ve ever met has suggested. Who knows. I have no expectations, because expectations are what got me here in the first place.
I’m excited to fail and make mistakes and learn. This first post is going to be FULL of mistakes, but that’s alright. Hopefully I get better at it as I go.