Diary of a Writer, Day 1

Today, I decided to end my suffering.

I decided to go to my bookshelf, dust off the old Master’s thesis and browse through it one more time. I smelled it, too. Let my fingers glide across the writing, just for old time’s sake. And then I threw it in the garbage. I even considered setting the garbage on fire, just to make sure that demonic thing was dead for good.

Okay, I didn’t actually do that. But there’s a part of me that wanted to. I actually saw me doing it. Things haven’t exactly started out great in 2022 and so I thought, just to occupy my brain with something, I would sit down, get the old writer’s toolbox out – you know the small one with the vocabulary and basic grammar – and start to write again.

But imposter syndrome is a very real, very writer-esque malady. It usually appears in combination with the fear of failure, perfectionism, and mental delusions like “lack of inspiration” or “writer’s block,” both of which often express themselves in excuses like “I’m too busy” or “I have no good ideas,” all of which welcomed me back with open arms right away.

It’s not fun.

The truth is that I have ideas, some of them, I dare say, even good. One of the good ones is buried somewhere deep in the old Master’s thesis. My problem is that I am very good at finding excuses not to sit down and do the work. A big part of it is that I don’t have the patience.

But then I hear of examples like Jake Tapper. This school-principal looking TV anchor sets aside fifteen minutes each day to write. Every day. Fifteen minutes. Heck, I can do twice as much, if not more! If a busy TV anchor, who looks like a real-life grown-up Nelson Muntz can do it, so can anybody, including me!

I’d like to think Jake Tapper is proud of this entry.

So I didn’t throw my thesis out, nor do I intend to (at least for now). As I am typing these lines, the wretched thing is staring me right in the face from the top of my bookshelf.

It’s a reminder of what I want to do. It’s a reminder that, despite what my mind tells me, there’s something to work with here. I just need to make time for it. That’s it. Make time for writing.

Writing this entry was hard. Not mentally or emotionally. It was hard because I realized that the old word-machine is rusty. Some of the buttons are stuck. The ink is very dry, so I sometimes have to press the same button multiple times. And, good Lord, is the backspace unpredictable! Sometimes you hit it three times and it deletes fifteen things. Other times, it is the other way around.

The entire machine needs some dusting, some oil and some gentle handling. It will need constant care. But if I take care of it and put in the work, it will get better again. And perhaps, with a little luck, it will be as good as new again.

Believe it or not, but it took me almost 45 minutes to write a first draft of this. The editing took me another hour or so. Back in school, both would’ve taken me 15 minutes, respectively.

I’d like to think Jake Tapper would be proud though.

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