You have to write.
What if I have nothing to say?
What if it’s not good? Or good enough? Or as good as before?
What if what I have to say doesn’t matter?
I don’t want to say something.
You don’t write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.
This resistance – to write.
You have plenty to say about it.
I notice a pattern with myself.
There is something bigger going on – a transition physical or metaphysical alike – I need to process it.
I face the same resistance – to articulate.
It’s all so uncertain.
I do not know [how to make sense of it].
I forget my renewed perspective on knowing – it isn’t a destination.
And so, I resist – writing.
I voraciously consume the writing of others – who have something to say.
And are so good at saying it.
They really have something to say, I think to myself.
And you don’t?
My writing has always been a dialogue.
An effort to make sense of something.
Doesn’t mean you have to have made sense [of it all].
Doesn’t mean you have to have [all] the answers.
And sharing [my writing] has always been personal.
As is it – my writing.
That’s how I’ve kept my promise to myself – write unadulterated and unfiltered.
So how did sharing become the barrier?
My words carry a part of my being, something I simply can’t keep contained within.
But lately I’ve been succumbing to the congestion.
And when I let myself sit in that discomfort.
The answer was the same.
Write it out.
Yet each time I gave in to the resistance.
What should I say?
Does it matter?
And to whom?
When did this stop you from writing?
Now does that matter?
I am forgetting – What is the purpose of my writing?
Recently I’ve stumbled upon Adlerian psychology – the psychology of courage as stated in The Courage To Be Disliked. The philosophy-like presentation of profound psychological concepts strike a chord with me for reasons more than one (and not just because of my love for philosophy.)
The biggest being its synchronicity in aligning with my intention for the year – a lesson in being the captain of my ship.
I grew up discussing Freud with my mother.
As I grew older, subconsciously (of-course!), I started hoping for a magical revelation of the cause of my problems.
I became obsessed with finding answers in my childhood.
Maybe even glorifying episodes and attaching a meaning (to them) that felt comforting to blame.
Maybe I had a hope – if this could just be the trauma that needed to be healed.
And so my writing became a search for a cause.
I came across Frankl at a time when I was devoid of meaning.
Between the psychological narratives of pleasure, power, and purpose I chose to seek meaning in purpose.
And this became the purpose my writing.
I started seeking meaning through my words – and most often found myself looking to my past to show me the way forward.
Then came 2020 – a year that changed it all (for us all).
Nothing made sense, and everything felt meaningless.
[Now we know the word for it – this feeling].
I found myself making a commitment – to heal and be whole.
This meant letting go of the past.
Taking the lessons forward.
Reclaiming my values.
By redefining my experiences, my choices – I choose the meaning I attach to my life.
And this is what Adler urges us to do.
Stop focussing on the cause [of something].
Instead, decide what purpose [this thing] serves for you.
So instead of asking myself what causes me to stop writing, I chose to reflect on what purpose does not writing serve me?
Not writing enables my fear, my self-doubt, my saboteur.
Is this the ship I want to captain?
Most certainly not.
Now I remind myself – What is the purpose of my writing?
To make sense of things.
And courage in vulnerability.
To find the meaning in [my] life.
The meaning I choose to give – through my writing.
And that will always matter – to me.
My writing was never meant to be something I had to do, but it did become an outlet for something I had to say.
So yes I will choose to say something.
Because I do have something to say.
And so, I overcome the resistance.
And so, I write.
A few recommendations of those who have something to say (among many many others) –
Anita Schillhorn van Veen’s Frame Strategy
Nicole Ingra’s Things I Found
Rob Estreitinho’s Salmon Theory
Ana Andjelic’s The Sociology of Business
Noah Brier and Colin Nagy’s Why Is This Interesting
Mansi Gupta’s Unconforming
Zoe Scaman’s Wanderings Of A Musing Mind
Rob Campbell’s The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod
BONUS read: Durga Chew-Bose’s interview about Too Much and Not the Mood, a lyrical collection of essays where she tells us why she writes without a plan.
This is so lovely. Hard relate.