Every individual has some kind of fear in starting a new task or continuing an existing task. A kid fears to go to school alone, a sportsperson feels the proverbial “butterflies in the stomach” before going to the arena, an astronaut feels anxious prior to his launch and so on.
Fear is a universal feeling among all living creatures on this planet. Fear is not a sign of cowardice but rather it is a biological impulse regarding the future uncertainties.
Fear not only helps humans to make instant decisions when in danger but also heightens their senses when an inevitable danger approaches.
However, fear can also cripple the mightiest of persons and the bravest of souls.
Mahatma Gandhi during his student life suffered from frequent panic attacks. He had a particularly agonizing experience during a speech he was asked to give to a vegetarian community in London.
After reading one line from the speech he had prepared, he could no longer speak and asked someone else to read the rest of the speech for him.
Charles Darwin argued that fear is a primitive response of all living creatures the fight-or-flight response — a physiological reaction to perceived threats which is designed to prepare an animal to either flee from danger or fight it.
Fear causes knots in our stomach, sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, dry mouth, shaky legs, slouched shoulders, a tightening throat etc…
Like any other sane human, I too was a victim of fear. I was afraid of publishing my writing online. Despite having written hundreds of pages in the past three years, I never had the audacity to publish my work online.
“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
I had the fear of rebuff, rejection, and dismissal of my work which I felt would demotivate me to write in future. I had an immense affinity towards writing and thus didn’t want to lose it amidst the cynic criticism of internet denizens.
Whenever I thought of writing online, I couldn’t get pass typing the first sentence or worse even typing the first word.
I would procrastinate my desire to publish a story but alas inadvertently I would save the story in the draft folder.
Often I had the following soliloquy after such failed attempts:
Yet another attempt made at publishing a story, yet another disappointment. I wonder how all these numerous writer’s in Medium get motivation to publish the 1000–1200 word articles every other day…??
How do people get such varied ideas and opinions to write ??
How do they possess the intellect that they depict in their writing’s ??
My work is not as philosophical as those writer’s …!! Does that mean that my writing lacks the charm which they have…??
How do the writers manage the time to write without any disturbance, specially in this modern era where we cannot survive without checking our smartphones every 10 minutes ??
Do these writer’s practice asceticism from social media so that they can concentrate on writing ??
Hmmm…!! probably they must be having literary genes or must have been surrounded by neighborly social groups who motivate them to churn out such high quality articles day after day…
However, as time progressed I realized that writing a good story is not achieved in the first draft. Rather it involves numerous edits to the raw draft and of course Hell lot of Perseverance.
I also realized that by not publishing my work online, I am not doing full justice to my passion for writing.
I realized that without criticism and feedback,
I wouldn’t realize my faults and hence stagnate my writing skills.
I realized that if I do not publish online, I would be losing out the opportunity to learn the little nuances of writing from fellow writers and editors.
The perks of publishing a story online seemed to be far greater than to recluse me from publishing the story due to fear of rejection.
In certain cases, dwelling upon future outcomes is of no use. It only limits our existing passions and belittles our capabilities.
Quite often we need to take a leap of faith into the unknown abyss.
The leap is necessary so that we can overcome the self-cocooned boundaries created by figments of our imagination.
The white blank screen that stares at you with the imperishable cursor blinking at a rapid pace is often terrifying to a novice writer.
I can empathize with the feeling of anxiety a novice writer experiences while typing the first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first subpart of a story.
It seems as if time has come to a grinding halt and an eerie silence has descended upon your surroundings. The heart beats loud enough that its intensity matches the keystrokes on the keyboard.
Somehow after you overcome the writing inertia and finish your first draft, a surreal sense of satisfaction envelops you. The moment you contemplate that you have typed your intangible emotions and feelings on to a Word document, you would feel a sense of achievement.
You would no longer doubt your talents and no longer feel dismayed about completing tasks which once seemed impossible.
The satisfaction that you have overcome the barrier of self-doubt and conquered over the fear of writing would teach you one or two life lessons.
Later when you perform the 2nd, 3rd and 4th edit and the numerous other tweaks to your draft, you would feel yourself like a sculptor at work. A sculptor who carefully carves, chisels and smoothens the image to finally engrave his style to the work.
I have chosen Medium as the platform to my writing because of its simplicity and accessibility.
I did not prefer setting up a separate blog since I dislike programming and weaving through the maze of HTML codes.
I came to know about Medium
3 weeks ago while perusing through the Google search about “where should I publish my blog”. The first search result had Medium.com as its suggestion.
I started reading about all the wonderful articles posted by authors in this platform. Learned about how a writer drafts, edits and composes a story from nothing but from his ideas, experiences, imagination and of course creativity.
Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.
Simone de Beauvoir.
Right now as I am typing this story, I am uncertain how long my writing journey is going to continue.
I do not know what genres I would stick to.
I do not know whether I would be able to create the feeling of satisfaction to the readers who would be reading my work.
Despite all the if’s and but’s, I have started my writing journey. I do not care about the mistakes I have made or the improper grammatical usage I have committed or the lack of coherence in my story.
All I care is that I have taken the first step in the journey which I hope would continue for quite some time.