Welcome to Day 8 of a 31 day challenge to write 500 words or more.  For more on that click here:  goinswriter.com


I’m not sure what it is about writing but it truly is one of the best therapies I’ve stumbled across.  In its best form it is like a toilet plunger for my brain.  Metaphorically speaking of course.

Like most people (I suspect) and like most toilets, things in my mind get a bit clogged.  Not all at once but there is a gradual and consistent buildup over time.  A hairball here.  A wad of tissue there.  Let’s not chase this metaphor too far but you get the picture.  There’s a lot of crap in there.

Writing offers a chance to flush the whole thing out — to break the lines loose and get everything flowing again.  It’s like magic when it works right, however, as I stated on DAY 7 and DAY 1  (which was written 860 days before Day 7) I am not consistent in my writing.  Consequently the clogs are well formed.

Here are some of the reasons I don’t write:

I prefer toilet surgery

Sick right?  But true.  I’ve got a butt-load (no pun intended) of ideas clogging my brain and when I sit down to write I feel like I need to produce the final draft, the finished product, the masterpiece, the opus every single time.  It feels good when I write a blog post and people read it (side note – my brain just mocked me when I wrote “blog post” . . . “Woot teee dooo — A BLOOOG POST! Look at you, Shakespeare).  That’s fair.  Everyone likes their work to be appreciated but a big clog for me is writing for the accolade – hoping for something viral.  So (like a surgeon) I spend hours stuck in one spot, trying to get it just right, afraid to let my hand slip.

Just plunge the thing man.

I fear criticism

This one just gets weird when you try to stick with the toilet metaphor.

I care too much what people think.  I want to have impact but I am paralyzingly fearful of being wrong.  My mind goes to dark places and plays out a million, “if I say this, they might say that” scenarios.  Criticism proof writing is a pointless endeavor.  But I get stuck there — trying to play to a primarily American/fully international/expat/repat/conservative/liberal/mostly white/somewhat interracial/mono-multiculutral/significantly Western Christian/slightly not crowd.

I don’t so much fear the trolls.  Trolls are idiots and they generally out themselves as such.  I fear people who might have a good point — who might be smarter than me and disagree — who might be more insightful and negate everything I say.  The personal impact of a negative comment for me is 500 times greater than a positive one . . . and I love the positive ones.

I am irregular

Now we’re back on the metaphor track.

I’ve never been good at routines.  In fact, I take great pride in my ability to go willy nilly — shoot from the hip — think on my feet — make it up as I go.  The result is a dramatically unpredictable schedule and a HEAVY dependence on my ability to procrastinate well.  I suppose you could just sum that up as a lack of discipline.

The result of that result is that there are always a pressing number of “HAVE TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW” items on my to do list (which isn’t actually a list at all) that take priority.  I can always get to those things later but experiencing the true joy of something that is NOT pressing gets squashed by the things that are.

So I only write when I’m avoiding something else.

I feel like we’re just beginning to plunge — but those are my 500 words.


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