As someone who wants to be a writer, it’s astonishingly difficult for me to actually write. I all too easily succumb to that monster known as “writer’s block”, and rarely seem to find an easy way out from underneath its iron-fisted rule.
I know many writers who all tell me, “Write! It doesn’t matter what it is or how you’re feeling about it; just write.” I struggle with that, and I think I just figured out why.
My expectations for everything I write are way too high.
If it doesn’t have the potential to move mountains, I won’t bother. If I don’t feel like the reader would be moved to near tears or jubilation (or both), it isn’t worth it. These high expectations are cancerous to creativity. In their proper place and perspective, they can be a driving force, I know; but since when has anything about humanity been properly placed and perceived?
Perhaps it’s arrogance. I expect and hope too much that my words will be earth-shattering, when I should probably be happy that anyone would be taking the time to read them at all. Maybe this is a lesson that comes more easily with age. When I first entered college, all I could think about was how much I was going to change the world. I still have that desire today, but I’m realizing more and more that it isn’t hingent upon my skills and abilities alone, but the collective of all those around me.
I believe this is where the passion of youth can get in the way of the progress they so desire. There’s an unbridled enthusiasm and excitement that is, while absolutely wonderful, easy to get lost within. The thing is, as I have gotten older, cynicism has become a more everyday way of looking at the world for me. Now, that’s not an entirely terrible outlook to have, as it has helped me to be a little more cynical regarding myself. The trick though, is to remember that like all things, I can easily lose myself within it if I’m not careful.