Why Do This Now?

4 years to the day, on January 7, 2018, I created my first WordPress account. Primarily, I did it to link to a separate site for which I was writing as a contributor. I didn’t think anything of it until I realized I could use it to publish my own blog.

So, my adventure began.

I picked a [now defunct] site address, picked a few stock images to represent the hero image for pages, wrote, what I thought was, a quirky little message, and took a break.

Welcome to my site! I’m pleased that you’re here HOWEVER I’m still working on building this site. So, stay tuned! I hope you come back and are pleased with what you find!! Thanks!

In my eternal optimism, I thought someone might stumble upon my homely page by accident. I felt they deserved an explanation on why the page was so…bare. I was very, very wrong. No one ever stumbled on it by accident because I, at the time, was woefully ignorant of a little thing called search engine optimization. Anyways, I did continue to write for the other sites with which I was involved–feedmericeballs.com, The Borgen Project, and Highview Apps–but I never did a single solitary thing for myself.

I became consumed with all those thoughts that affect those of us suffering, most grievously, from imposter syndrome.

“I can’t do this”

“No one will ever see this”

“I’m not good enough to do this”

“What would I even write about?”

“Aren’t I too old? Isn’t it too late?”

“How do I even do this and where do I begin?”

And these thoughts, among the other countless one that I lost track of over the years, plagued me deeply. They effectively crippled me. The more consumed I became with answering these questions, the less desire I had to actually go forth and complete my site.

I love to write, always have. When I was nine, I decided I wanted to be an author and illustrator. (I was optimistic about my artistic abilities. When reality set in, I dropped that quick). But, life happened, I was made to believe that being a writer is impossible (and…it is, but we won’t get into the specifics of that), I grew up, and I went through several career decisions that you’d expect of a growing person (singer, doctor, accountant, etc.). But, through all of that, I kept writing. I wrote stories, I wrote poems, I wrote in my journal, I even wrote songs (you’ll never see them. They were terrible). At some point I had to accept that I just wanted to write for a living.

So, I did.

Deciding to write is what led me to change my major to communication, which led to getting an internship with the Borgen Project, which led to being a contributor for Feed Me Riceballs. I even quit my day job believeing that I needed to put all of my efforts into writing full time. I am the most dedicated worker you’ll meet. I always put everything into whatever job I have. My day job was sad to see me go and I was sad to leave. But I felt that it was past time to translate my ethic from working for someone else to working for myself.

I was so, very wrong.

Ultimately, I got burned out trying to make everything work–life, people, bills, school, writing. Did I say bills? At the end of it all, I didn’t think myself capable of being a writer. My internship ended, I kept contributing, I even got a separate freelance opportunity, but it wasn’t sustainable. I went slinking back to my old job (who was awesome enough to accept me back) with my tail between my legs.

So, my adventure stalled.

When I went back to work, I excelled. I was recognized for my efforts and I even got a promotion. I got really comfortable. So comfortable that I merely talked about my writing goals instead of actually trying to achieve them. It was a solid conversation starter whenever someone said “tell me a little about yourself.” It was easy to talk the talk and act like my internal monologue wasn’t on repeat. But it was.

“I can’t do this”

“No one will ever see this”

“I’m not good enough to do this”

“What would I even write about?”

“Aren’t I too old? Isn’t it too late?”

“How do I even do this and where do I begin?”

After copious projects that were started and stopped, I accepted that it probably just wasn’t for me. I would forever talk about writing, but would never be about writing. Then we had a pandemic and the rest is history (or a blur, whichever you prefer). Now, 4 years later, I revisited starting a blog.

But, why do this now?

If there is anything this pandemic has taught me, it’s that life is incredibly precious and, in rather unfortunate cases, painfully short. I was watching a Netflix docuseries called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. Spoiler: it’s about a mentally ill blogger who accidentally drowned. Watching that in the midst of a pandemic forced me to do some deep reflecting. I know, it’s so cliché, but there’s no other phrase for it. It was almost like an epiphany.

What if I died? Would I be happy with what I tried or didn’t try to do?

The answer is no. I would not. And now, I owe it to the people who didn’t get to live their lives to try to live mine, however fruitless. It may have taken four years [at minimum], but I finally had answers for the questions and statements my imposter syndrome, the Imposter, just loved to throw at me.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

“I can’t do this”

Probably not, but will I ever know if I never try? At least try and fail, girl! I’ve become comfortable enough with my job (yup, same job) that if I suddenly fail or quit writing, I’d probably be okay from a financial and economical standpoint. But, at the end of the day, when I’ve asked myself over and over again what I want to do for the rest of life, the answer is always the same: write.

“No one will ever see this”

That’s probably true. There are 7 billion people in the world and even more information out there as data increases exponentially. But I’m not doing it to be seen. Am I? Yes and No. Yes, because the more people who see (and like) my work, the more likely it is that I may actually be able to rely on writing full time. But, no, because if that’s my sole reason for writing, then I’m just setting myself up for failure. I have to care that I see it. And at that moment? I was seeing a whole lot of nothin’.

“I’m not good enough to do this”

Also, probably true. Cue Evanescence’s “Good Enough.” 7 billion people. Countless people loving a thing and doing it and hoping they’re good enough at it to matter. We have to accept that we may not all be good at something, let alone good enough to monetize it. But should that stop us from doing something we love? Or trying to get better?

I think not.

I may or may not be good at this but I am good enough [now] to know that my skill at something shouldn’t impede my desire to participate in it. I’ll keep writing. Maybe it’ll get better, maybe it won’t.

“What should I even write about?”

Whenever I’ve had conversations with people about starting a blog, they ask me this. Whenever I’ve told people that I finally created this site, they ask me this. And the answer?

Everything and nothing.

To be honest, I don’t have an answer, but that question drove me nuts more than any of the other questions or comments from the Imposter. It was, and is, the biggest hindrance. I have no idea what I will write about, but I’ll figure it out as I go. There are so many things happening in the world, I’m bound to get inspiration from somewhere.

“Aren’t I too old? Isn’t it too late?”

Um, depends on who you ask? Do I wish I had gotten to this point much sooner in life? Yes. Am I fearful that it’s too late to make any sort of impact? Absolutely. Will that deter me from writing anymore? Hell, no.

This is my thing and I’m going to stick with it. In my darkest days, I’ve turned to writing for solace. Even if it was just getting my thoughts out. I’ve always been able to best express myself, creatively or otherwise, via writing. At the very least, it’s an outlet for my frustrations when my video games just aren’t cutting it.

And that’s healthy, right? So I should just do it. Maybe I’ll be on my death bed and only those closest to me will have read what I had to say. Maybe I’ll only reach 1 person. Maybe I won’t reach anyone. But if I keep getting hung up on how long it took me to get here, then I won’t get anywhere. And then I’ll be on my death bed wishing I had done more.

“How do I even do this and where do I begin?”

Shea Serrano is a writer I follow on Twitter. And I love him. Some of his tweets are hilarious, others are thought provoking, some are both. One thing he tweets often is this (or some variation of it):

While, yes, I have accepted that nothing may ever come of this, that’s irrelevant. The point of his tweet is to tell people to get out there and put forth the effort. Like I said, I was seeing a whole lot of nothin’. I wasn’t trying. I wasn’t trying to figure out “where to begin” or “how” to do it. Anytime I would dip my toe into the water, I’d get so overwhelmed that the Imposter would rattle off several reasons why I shouldn’t bother. Then, I’d listen, step away from the water, and run back inside.

Ultimately, after watching that docuseries, I realized that I still don’t have a clue where to begin–and maybe I never will, but I have to start somewhere. This site doesn’t doesn’t look the way I want it to, but maybe that’ll get better with time. Or maybe it won’t, but at least I started.

Dead last finish is better than did not finish, which trumps did not start

Anonymous

So, why do this now?

Well…

…why not?

Photo by Millo Lin on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Why Do This Now?”

  1. Lovely. I too am on a similar path in life, in that I just don’t want to die without having given this writing thing a true shot. Sure, I’ve had some success here or there, but I feel like I haven’t really applied myself fully into the craft. Anyway, here’s to finding our path!

    Like

    1. Agreed! I think the main goal is to just keep trying as hard as we can. Because it’s not going to just happen. Hopefully we can find our niche!

      Like

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