Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Writing Paralysis

I think twitter and facebook stunt my writing. The more that I read tweets, the more self-conscious I get when I write. Not that my writing is all that original, but I still feel that it is something that comes from me. I worry so much about presenting ideas of others as my own without even remembering that I had seen the ideas before. In the old days, the things that I read were long form. Books, articles, maybe blog posts. They each left an impression on me, maybe good, maybe bad, but I had a sense where they were coming from. When I wrote I could reliably say where the inspiration for my idea had come from. Now with twitter, I see all these ideas and thoughts, some of which are interesting, but few of which leave a lasting impression on me. So now I have this fear that the things that I am considering my own ideas are actually the ideas of others, improperly attributed. Of course, that’s silly. No idea is original, but it’s just serious enough to stifle my writing. Because, as a writer, I am the scaredy-cat of all scaredy-cats and any criticism of my writing bites deep to the heart. I also know that this is something that I just need to get over. You cannot express ideas without inviting criticism. I also don’t just want to let criticism fall off me. I want to learn from critics. But saying all that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. Even writing this post, I feel like a fraud. I’ve said that I’m a writer a couple times up there, but what evidence do I have to support that claim? Most of my blog posts are so simple or technical or repetitive. Nothing that would strike me as an ‘original idea’. This whole post makes it seem like I am more important or better than I really am.

What is my point with all this? I want to be able to write. I know that there are people out there who could benefit from things in my brain (maybe not a lot). I know that there are people out there who can help me (in ways that I can’t even expect). So, I want to write and I want it to be freely flowing and I don’t want to force myself to feel that what I am writing is useful or authoritative or perfect. I apologize to you, Vinod, my biggest critic. I know that you are cringing inside because you’re thinking that anyone who reads this will think that you are so full of yourself for even considering yourself a writer. But, this is my first step in letting my guard down to get this blog flowing. Because I do believe that writing is healthy and will make me a better person.

In addition to committing to blogging more frequently, I’m also going to try a twitter hiatus for a week and see what happens.