Monday, 15 January 2018

The Fear of Starting Again

I haven’t written since I handed in my dissertation five months ago. Well, I haven’t written anything to do with the ideas I’m storing in my head. I’ve done a few short stories when I’ve been set a deadline but, when faced with the vast abyss that is unemployment, I haven’t properly sat down and thought “I will write today.” And now I’m wondering why that is.

Being unemployed should have given me that kick to write – I have nothing else to fill my time, why not start a project I’ve been mulling over for years? However, I’ve felt a bit like a dried up, useless sponge over the past few months, with the shortest of stories becoming a drain on my mental capacity. Even this blog post has taken me three months to finish writing. And with most of my mental capacity going into job applications, it’s become even harder to work my way up to write for me and not for potential employers.

In the last few weeks leading up to my graduation, I thought I would give writing another go again, believing I had some ideas I would like to try out. However, within a few minutes of (not really) starting, I am overwhelmed with a sense of dread and decide that everything I write is terrible, cliché, or has been done before and, in true self-pitying mode, declared “what’s the point? Why bother?”, deleted everything and turned on Netflix instead.

This post doesn’t really have a story – I’m still struggling to write and I’m still technically unemployed. I am doing some volunteering though which allows me to be creative in different ways, through digital media and photography, and by researching things I’m interested in. I hope that this writer’s block or whatever it is lifts and I’ll be able to push on with ideas I want to actually flesh out. I guess it’s just a waiting game. Though if anyone has any ideas on how to move forward then I would be immensely grateful to hear them.

This post was originally called The Fear of Failure, but I’m not sure if that’s correct. Failure suggests an attempt to start something which I haven’t even managed to do yet. I haven’t even reached the first hurdle to fall at. I think I’m worried about being given the time and the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting and waiting to do but suddenly it feels like I don’t have the time to achieve it all. The idea of starting means that I have to finish which is much scarier to me than failing.

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