The first step in my journey…
I have elaborate dreams about becoming a screenwriter. I spend much of my time thinking up the kind of characters that would feature in my stories but I never manage to successfully weave them into a legitimate plot. I have been notified that the biggest reason why I am unable to do so is because I never actually ‘try’.
I subscribed to Medium months ago on one of my bouts of personal self improvement — these are usually short lived — in order to test out my writing potential. I read incredible pieces of writing and stories crafted by people whom I respect and felt rather inferior afterwards. Many times I clicked on ‘Write a Story’ and many times I typed in 50 words of a piece of I thought would be worthy enough to stand exposed and naked before the eyes of judgmental internet surfers ready to criticize and tear apart anything I created. I have 5 drafts which have a title and a few words. Nothing more. Why is this? Am I lazy? Perhaps. But I believe the problem lies in my fear of difficulty. I prefer to excel at what comes naturally and easily and do not particularly enjoy struggling through the uncomfortable bits. When the going gets tough, I prefer to avoid my responsibilities and take a nap. I tend to quit things — half-way or before I even begin. I ride on the rush of temporary inspiration and tend to try and coax the rest of the way by putting in minimal effort. Even as I type these words — the longest draft I have ever managed — I want to stop and do something else before having to face the green ‘Publish’ link begging me to proceed.
I don’t want to be ‘bad’ at anything. I don’t want to be criticised. I am afraid that what I write won’t be able to withstand the criticism and that instead of using it as a nudge of improvement I will resort to quitting and never trying again.
I have decided to try. Try and formulate words to put on a page before invisible readers who may or may not flinch when they read my words. But, I have decided to try and tell my stories. I have the endurance level of a dying goat. But once I click ‘Publish’ this first time I will be vulnerable. Perhaps no one will even read this. I am not established. I am no professional. And I am unlikely to invite Facebook friends to enter this space because what’s worse than the judgement of strangers? The judgement of the people you know. Who knows? In a year I might be inspired to actually try and welcome readers. But for now, this is enough of a big step for me.
I will probably write at least 7 pieces regardless of the outcome. And hopefully more will follow. The main difficulties will be: writing despite my lack of inspiration and facing my general lack of discipline. The topics will probably be about Procrastination, Obsession with Sleep, maybe I’ll throw in something about my Depression, the Loss of my Dad and his Story, South Africa and its people, maybe something about Gorillas and Sharks, maybe something about Food…who knows?
So, here goes.