Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Pride comes before, after and during the fall.

So that's 13 days since writing that I would write every day. It would have been simple as it is now to sign on and churn out 400 words. That did not happen. I think one of the biggest problems that probably a lot of writers fear admitting to is fear of damaging one's own pride. It's a fear that the internet age of journalism forces you into conquering through a kind of exposure therapy.

However as any psychology student would know the efficacy of exposure therapy is limited in that it fails to tap into the root causes of why the person is fearful of their phobia. If they are able to conquer that one particular fear, it might not be too long before some other irrational anxiety fits in its place. Even if that kind of work is successful, the conqueringcan still be massively painful.

The terror this poor dude's put through is incomparable to the sort of mild peturbation that some would-be bloggers face. Anyone who has aspired to be a writer and was brought up on the social history of modern literati might prefer to see themselves as a pained, attic-dweller stabbing their thoughts through ink and paper. The internet denies you this.

Not only does it deny you this delusion that you'll only publish what you feel is of quality for print, it harasses you with news that millions of others are providing dense and thoughtful copy every minute, of every day.

The act of writing is solipsistic. There is your writing, then others' writing - it's your job to be better or more interesting than anyone else. When you start writing however you think that you are the best no matter the level of your talent. Why else would you be an author in the first place? In a world where scientists battle disease, engineers build machines of industry and teachers educate the fragile, what other reason could you concede that writing be a worthwhile profession unless you were brilliant.

With encouragement from your friends and family you can sit with the pride that you are "a writer". You're a good writer at that, so why really join in with this cycle of  hashing reservoirs of garbage and posting it to some irrelevant host. Why lower yourself like that?

The truth is, writing breeds arrogance. Not only does it attract arrogant people but as you receive more encouragement the harder it is to concede that you need to keep up to the scrupulous demands that this career asks of you. Everyone else seems below you and that you'd only need to present one of your rough drafts to their finest work to annihilate them as competition.

It's absolute bullshit. I don't consider myself as the best or even a very good writer. I do know however how long I've been writing and the opinion of my skills. I can sit comfortably with that. What I don't like knowing is how bad I can be. I have cringed at some of the excruciatingly bad work I've produced over the past ten years or so. There's nothing worse knowing that you can be bad. That you shouldn't be as proud as you feel. A blog will make you feel like that all the time. That's exactly why I started but also why it's been thirteen days since I wrote anything. That and laziness - of course that's a topic for another day.

I think my New Years Resolution was something dumb like listen to a record every day or learn who I am. 50 days in I've finally got a real one. I'm going to file some bad copy. It might not be every day but I'm going to kill this pride bug and learn how much I can suck.

Might have hit on a concept for this blog, finally then. Come here for some terrible writing.

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