Spinning my chair around at my desk at the back of the family room, I sit down and flip open my MacBook Air, <command><tab> Evernote, <command-N> new note, and then proceed to stare at the blank canvass for a few minutes. Nothing is coming to me. Searching for something to write about in my head, an echoing ensues…”Hello, is there anything in here worth writing about?” The echo fades. Next step, music. I turn on my “writing playlist” on Spotify and contemplate the events of yesterday, searching for a starting point. Searching. Searching. Searching…
I give in and check my email, my credit score dropped seven points, my new (unnecessary impulse purchase) phone case from Amazon has shipped. I glide the cursor to the Medium.com tab. What’s everyone else writing about?
Looking for ideas, I find an article that interests me, for no other reason than the author looks too young to try and share any type of wisdom with me (horribly presumptive and luckily recognized). The article is decent, obviously quickly written and published. Drifting my cursor to the image of my wife and me in the upper-right corner of the webpage, I tap the trackpad, scroll down to the Stats, and indulge in seeing if anyone is loving on my posts (aka claps).
How did the previously mentioned author get over 400 claps for their article when I have a paltry 26 total claps for the past 30 days. The demon of self-doubt and frustration begins to dance on my confidence. Why am I writing? I say that I’m writing for myself because I enjoy it, it’s cathartic. But truly, receiving recognition of my writing would satisfy my writer’s exhibitionist tendencies. I write therefore I am, validate me!
Again, I seem to be avoiding the actual act of tapping out something worth my intellectual efforts (stretch, I know), something worth reading, something worth a few claps.
So I sit here writing, about not writing. Check that. I am sitting here writing about the struggle of not writing. Do I really have the right to complain about struggling to write? After all, it’s not like I’ve paid much in the form of writer-dues as of yet. I keep reading about how you need to keep writing, every day, and then after X amount of time, and finding your voice, and improving your writing skills, you will magically come into your own and the claps will ensue.
Am I just being greedy and trying to sprint in an obvious marathon? Is there a way to shave the corners off and have the crowd erupt in an emotional round of faux-standing applause (again with the claps)?
I sit in a class at the office, a mandatory class about blah-blah-blah. The speaker concludes their 30-minute address and the class slow-claps as if clapping was a mandated payment to be able to leave. I’m jealous, they clapped for the presenter. Half-heartedly, but nevertheless, claps.
A co-worker gives me an inquisitive look, especially noticing my reservations to clap, “I’m very selective with my claps.” The co-worker’s look turns to a head shake and an eye roll, “Weird.” Yep, writing has made me weird (weirder).
I did it. I wrote about not writing. I wrote about claps. I wrote about using Evernote as my writing platform. I mentioned that my profile picture is of me and my wife. I mentioned being weirder the more I write. With that, I sit back, lifting my fingers from the keyboard, and slow-clap my efforts.
Originally published at Man Ramblings.