Why Is Writing So Difficult

Over time, it seems like my mind has settled on doing those activities she knows (yeah she) how to do right. Coding, for example, although every day I question how good I actually am. Cooking is another example. I don’t hesitate to try a new non-transitional dish from a foreign cuisine I’m not familiar with. I’m aware of the possibility of failure in these endeavors, yet I’m not afraid. I’m willing to withstand the uncomfortable feeling of not meeting the expectations because, at the end of the day, these are things I feel connected to.

Despite a deep sense of connection with these activities, I feel that something is missing in my life. It seems like these mediums don’t allow me to express fully. That some of my identity’s dimensions can’t be conveyed in code or gourmet dishes. Writing fills that void. It creates a sense of intimacy… an in-depth conversation with myself. What I find puzzling is why I’m so inconsistent at it and struggle to do it.

I found the answer in another endeavor of mine. I started learning to play the guitar around six months ago. Playing a musical instrument is a skill I’ve yearned for all my life. When I was a teenager, I didn’t have the resources to afford a guitar, and by the time I was a young adult, my mind was somewhere else. Now that I’m at the end of my 20s, I have the resources and the focus required.

Initially, this didn’t translate into practicing daily. The chords exercises triggered my anxiety because the sounds produced by the guitar were far from melodic. At the same time, producing those sounds felt excruciating. I read the course’s content table, which created a feeling of despair because I noticed how far the goal was and how challenging each step turned out to be.

Writing feels the same way. My expectations are high, as well as my impatience. I’m always thinking about the end goal instead of the path (as cliché as it sounds). I think about ambitious ideas not suitable for someone who just started writing. My stamina quickly drops as I try to untangle complex topics, and self-doubt sabotages every sentence. After finishing an article in those conditions, I become someone who doesn’t want to write anymore. I haven’t given up, though.

This week I set myself a goal: Write 16 blog posts by 2019-01-31. It is a specific goal with a fixed number and date. The blog posts don’t need to be extensive or cover complex topics. They just need to represent a piece of my mind or my perspective on any topic. I don’t have an agenda of what I want to achieve with these blogs. I just want to throw some ideas in the wild. This is the first blog post of this series, and it feels cathartic because I finally realize what the problem is.