Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Why paper freaks me out

Recently I read a very interesting article about writing and how you have to start out with only little skills, but still keep going to improve. However what struck me the most about this article were the notebooks.
Actual stories and texts written down with pen and paper - just the plain thought of it freaks me out.

Writing is a process. In most cases you start off with a rough idea. You draw it up, change it and leave details out to add new ones. You reread and revise it until you are satisfied or just keep working on it, because you are a damn perfectionist. But there is one thing to be completely sure of:
Writing is rarely smooth sailing. 

And you can see it all when you write it on paper: every crossed out phrase or expression which you initially thought to be perfect, but turned out completely unfitting. Every mistake is right there waiting to be judged.

Naturally making mistakes in order to progress is an essential aspect of every hobby we cultivate, but the thought of direct confrontation with it makes me shiver.
On a computer it is so easy to delete phrases and change words. At the end you won't even be able to see that the finalized version used to be completely different - like the perfect crime it leaves no traces. The only thing that seems to matter is what remains at the end.

Imperfect.

When I look at this blank, unsullied page it takes a lot of courage to write down even a single word.
It has to be perfect.
Because it is permanen.
It can not be deleted.
It will always be there. 

Of course this entire concept inside my head is completely wrong-headed. Even Oscar Wilde needed several attempts for his prose to become the way he wanted it, but being the stubborn coward that I am, I am afraid of seeing my deficienies.

But by now I decided that it is time for me to do something about this irrational fear. So I got myself a notebook and I try to write in it as often as I feel the need to. I would not say that it is a diary, but it is still a way for me to release my emotional ballast. Eventhough I love writing on a computer, the process of using pen and paper feels very relieving.

My personal goal is to fill up this notebook until the end of the year and eventually contine with writing more by hand without being afraid that I will be embarrassed about what I wrote later on.

What are you afraid of and how do you want to tackle it?

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