They always say, the best way to get over a writer's block is to write and to read. To write - because the best way to get over something or to get something done is to just do it, much like facing your fears. To read - because the reason for a writer's block mostly comes from being stuck which often equals a lack of inspiration and ideas. Reading helps creating new ideas and looking at current ones from a different and new perspective.
The thing is...what if you have too many ideas? What if you read too much? Now I don't believe in such a thing as ''too much reading'' the same as I don't believe in ''too much cheese'' but lately I have been feeling overwhelmed with ideas and completely discouraged for writing them at the same time. Here's why;
Is it reading too much similar topic related content?
In my notes on my phone I have a whole list of ideas that I go through one by one whenever I have some time to write up a blog post. Even my collection of little notebooks are full of tiny scribbles that are random thoughts or full on topic ideas. (plus the odd grocery list from time to time)
Although I have all these ideas ready to go, I have been feeling discouraged to write them out whenever I come across a similar topic written by someone else.
In this world we cannot create new ideas that have never been done before, we must simply just create our own version or make it better than someone else's. I think that's what's keeping me from writing my heart out. I just simply don't think my version would be good enough or even just ''good'' - at all.
It is funny coming from someone who always preaches about confidence and being the best version of yourself but it is true - this is exactly how I have been feeling recently; the constant need to compare my work to others and to set the bar extremely high that it feels impossible to reach or even just to make a start.
Is it the fear of accidentally copying someone?
We have all said it once at least; ''Did I come up with that joke or did I hear it on TV?'' - I have this constant fear of writing an instagram caption that sounds too similar to someone else's or writing a blog post with the exact same tips and tricks as a buzzfeed article I read 3 years ago. New content is created every single day and pushed in front of everyone's eyes every second of the day so the need to stand out is bigger than ever. - but how can we stand out if everything has already been said and done?
We have to make it better.
A better, smarter, funnier version of content in this overcrowded internet space - but what if the article you are reading is already the best of the best? Let me give you an example; a few weeks ago I started writing a post about dating (took me all the courage in the world and barely got to the second paragraph lol) then halfway through I noticed that one of my favourite bloggers had released one about dating as well with a very similar topic in mind. What I should have done in that moment was close the tab of her website and continue writing my own version. Ofcourse, the stubborn person that I am, I didn't listen to my own advice and immediately started reading her brilliant post. There was no way mine would have ever turned out that good. Not only this but the fear of mine sounding too similar took over straight away, which discouraged me from finishing it.
How do we stop comparison from taking over?
This is a question I have given a lot of thought over a long period of time. This doesn't just apply to my writing but relates to so many aspects of life - not just mine. Comparison is inevitable but it is time to turn it around and only compare in order to improve, not to discourage and stop everything.
One of my favourite writers always manages to create the perfect instagram caption for every photo she shares. These inspire me everyday to become better at writing and sharing the mess that's in my mind. Sometimes I can't seem to put my thoughts into words so whenever someone does that for me, it feels as though they will always do a better job than I will, and then I lose motivation to write at all.
This needs to be turned around to inspiration again. To get better. The only way to get better is to practise again and again and to just do it. Want to become a better writer? Write.
I don't know why it has taken me all this time to get over myself but I am sure I am not the only one who gets discouraged sometimes. If you relate to this post in any way, I want you to get over yourself and your fears too and believe that the only way you will become the better version of yourself is to take action and try, try, try.
So here we are. Trying again and again but at least trying.
if we constantly strive for perfection, do we lose sight of ourselves? I have been wondering if we can lose sight of the goal and the steps we need to take to get there if we constantly re-analyse the finish line. You cannot think about what the last city of the marathon will look like if you don't even take the first step. You cannot waste your time designing your book cover if you haven't even written the first page and I simply cannot waste time comparing my work to others if I don't even start publishing it.
I will never be the best writer but at least I am me, sharing my thoughts, my story and my personal views and experiences - that should be enough.
Thank you for staying by my side whilst I learn to figure out how not to strive for perfection.
Thank you for staying in general.
Love, M x