Fear of Relevance

The truly great thing about writing in a journal is you get to vent about any melodramatic drivel that comes to mind with no editing. It’s exclusively yours, which makes it liberating.

The trouble starts when you begin to believe that you’re actually channeling ingenious thoughts about life and pathos. What a shame you’re the only one who gets to witness such extraordinary pros concerning observations of the human condition.

A writer is born. Out of this self-deluded belief that somehow God appointed you to be the voice in the wilderness, you imagine yourself capable of communication with other people in a competent manner.

Never mind you’ve never truly tested this theory in reality. Never mind so many others have gone before you and failed miserably in the face of the world’s cruel judgement. Never mind the few who do accrue some modicum of success eventually fall prey to their own jaded opinions of an art that used to bring them joy.

When you write for yourself, nothing matters. It’s a completely internal process that need only provide you with a release. Its’ a safe place. It’s therapy. It’s a hobby.

Making a work of literature that is meant to have an audience that doesn’t exist exclusively in your head is just that – work. You have to pay attention to silly things like grammar and spelling. You have to edit for consistency and cohesion. You have to eventually make a point. Now, everything matters. Oh crap.

It’s this transition that kills writers. Somewhere between the blathering of self indulgence and the hypersensitivity to judgement lies a sweet spot of good literature.

Finding it can be an elusive and daunting process. You have to locate it amidst the din of self doubt chanting, “who the hell do you think you are?” Even if you do find it, that sweet spot can slip out of your reach unless you vigilantly maintain your position no matter what life puts in your way.

The truth is the world needs writers. The Information Age has created a maelstrom of shorthanded random thoughts and regurgitated quotes that rotate the globe with alarming speed and short lived impacts. Lasting impressions of thought and reason are becoming an endangered species.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Just have something to say.

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