I’ve written a lot over the years and used to enjoy it.
But over time my enthusiasm waned as I realised that what made sense to me didn’t necessarily make sense to anyone else.
I thought I was communicating valuable insights, but what did those insights amount to?
Now when I try to write I feel almost immediate weariness and disgust. I know that it’s not writing per se, but the way I am trying to write.
Nonetheless I still try and fail repeatedly every week.
Along the way I learned that I’m tired of trying to communicate to people who don’t care and don’t want to listen. As a child it was ingrained in me that whatever I had to say was by turns ridiculous, worthy of contempt, deserved to be outright ignored, or to be painfully endured as the most burdensome thing imaginable.
“Are you finished?” 🙄
When it came to writing I tried to limit myself only to ideas that seemed objectively worthy of communication, divorced from my subjective voice and perspective.
My ideas had to be entirely defensible, and I strived to find points of interest that made them relatable and “worth listening to”.
None of these are bad in the right measure, but they can collude to support the deep conviction that anything I communicate has to overcome a barrier of hostility and opposition; that my words and thoughts have no intrinsic worth and are not worth the effort of communicating.
This is all the result of childhood conditioning, and what it calls for is the remedy of recognising that my expectations were shaped by some really awful people, but most people in the world aren’t like that, and I do in fact receive many positive responses from people I’ve never met who resonate on some level with the words I have written.
Ultimately, we write for ourselves regardless of how others respond. We write to express our thoughts, to clarify and focus our perspectives. We therefore don’t need to impose restrictions or extrinsic criteria in the hope of pleasing an audience or avoiding criticism and condemnation.
Most people aren’t awful; many people are lovely, authentic and open. If I write firstly for my own benefit and secondly with the expectation that most people aren’t bad and many are good, then I think I can learn to enjoy writing again.