Just Fucking Write Already

There was once a time in my life when, being younger (and more certain of myself as a direct consequence), I genuinely felt I could dare to call myself a writer. I wrote whatever the hell I wanted to because I knew what I wanted to say. Good writers always have something to say — which isn’t to say that I was a good writer, but at least I was writing.

I can’t remember the last time I churned out something I might call a “piece,” much less a finished, polished piece, or (least of all) a good one. What’s changed? I still have loads to say; possibly even more than I used to, in fact. The difference is that now, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m not sure I know enough to say anything at all. Racking up even just a few more years in life has drilled the old Aristotelian saying “the more you know, the more you don’t know” into me so hard that I am completely paralysed by it. I know I know nothing, so what gives me the right to write about anything at all?

Of course, I do know: every individual experience is worth sharing for the sole reason of its being unique. No one voice is like any other and bla bla bla. But there are also so many voices out there expressing similar things in what are arguably much better ways that I can’t help but doubt that the world might benefit from one more (absolutely uncertain) voice joining in the cacophony. It’s often difficult to convince myself of it, but I also know that yes: it can and it will. The world always needs more voices actively making themselves heard. The alternative is silence: deadening silence. Deadening because when there is silence where there should be noise we are deprived of sensation, of emotion, and, in the worst cases, of life itself.

Silence somehow slowly subsumed my life. Sounds a bit melodramatic, yes, but also just too bloody damn true. The number of drafts I have sitting unfinished and unpublished (both on WordPress and on actual paper) is just plain stupid– and all because I never really felt sure of what I had to say anymore. It seems so obvious as I say this to myself now, but who the hell ever said I had to be certain of myself before I could write? Having something to say and being certain of what you have to say are two entirely different things and somewhere along the way I forgot that it’s OK to write through that uncertainty — it’s OK to churn out pieces you might hate in the future; it’s ok to take stances that might alter in time.

It’s OK to let imperfect pieces out into the world. It’s OK to be wrong (but be willing to correct yourself when you realise it). The alternative is deadening silence — the alternative is nothing at all.

This is me essentially telling myself: Just fucking write already. Who ever heard of a writer who didn’t write?

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