Journal #1 – The Writer's Paradox

In my adult life, writing has become both a prison and an escape. It's an escape in that the only limit to what I can put on paper is my imagination. However, that was once a metaphor for boundless potential. Writing became a prison for me when I started thinking about the potential negative criticism, my limitations as both an author and an artist, potential implications that people can read from my works, and so much more.

Writing can be just as natural or as forced as breathing. There are days when I find myself able to write for hours on end. Maybe I've made good progress on a passion project that I was neglecting for far too long. It's also possible that I just finished watching something and wanted to get my thoughts out on pen and paper. The flow of ideas isn't impeded for whatever reason, so writing comes naturally. Sadly, these days have been coming fewer and further between with every passing year.

All too often, I find myself lost in a deep fog. There are times when I can make out a beacon of light, however faint. It guides me to my desk where I'm able to eke out a few sentences, maybe a paragraph or two. However, that's all I can muster. Perhaps I'm rewriting sentences over and over again, or perhaps I'm drawing a blank at what comes next in this story that I'm writing. What if I'm in the editing stages and I find myself deeply dissatisfied with what I wrote? Could the gut feeling I trusted back then be wrong now?

When I was younger, I had no sense of shame when it came down to my creativity. Even if I cringe at the thought of it now, I was able to write down whole high-concept scenarios that were likely cobbled together from the TV, movies, video games, music, and books/manga that I read. I never thought about the implications of what I wrote at the time because I never felt the need to.

As I got older and began consuming more works across various genres, platforms, and mediums, I began to think more about the finer details surrounding the media that I consumed. That in turn, bled into my writing where now, I'm worried about coming across a certain way. Certainly, there were times in the past where I was told that my work comes across one way despite my intent being the exact opposite.

The beauty surrounding art is that everyone's able to experience it while coming to their own interpretations. However, that puts me in a weird place as an artist. I have my own vision that I want to make clear, but others might not necessarily share the same opinion. I get so tripped up in the minor details about something to the point where I lose track of the big picture. I suppose there is also the fear of failure, but that ties in with my fear of potential implications.

Despite all of the headache surrounding the writing process, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Even during my worst days where all I can do is rewrite the same 3 paragraphs over and over again, there's something oddly meditative about the process that I can't quite describe. There's also the pride I take in being able to create something rather than the usual loop of consuming and criticising. I might not necessarily create often, but the immense sense of gratification I get from creating and eventually finishing a project.