I am afraid to write in general.
This is because I call myself a writer, on occasion, and that is a difficult standard to hold yourself up to. (Even now my anal editor of a mind is telling me not to end that last sentence with a preposition). You judge every word you say and you are constantly rewriting before you have rewritten. It is also a difficult thing to write everyday.
One friend – Hany Fanouz – enjoys noting this habit of opening and closing my mouth several times before I finish a sentence. It’s not that I “self-censor” exactly, which is what he thinks it is. It is that I stutter, mentally. Should I? Shouldn’t I?
B.O.C. Butt on Chair. That is the only way, another friend, Shubha, has said, to overcome writer’s block. So here I am. Butt on chair (which I had earlier written as ‘Chair on Butt’).
Arturo understood my occasional fear of writing on Facebook: ‘I completely understand you. It happens to me all the time as well… I think I want to share more or something, but most of the time I don’t share a thing after a couple of very introspective “why should I? Who really cares? Why am I really doing it or wanting to do it?”.’
Well if you ever needed a reason Arturo – it is this, that people like me are happy when you write and then they can think ‘Me too.’
Why am I really doing it or find myself wanting to do it? Now that is a question where I fumble sometimes. Is it vain to write? Am I venting at the wrong location? What will people think? And the more scary question, what will people say in return?
Here is what people did say in return:
Some were curious and wanted to carry forward the conversation.
Or start a conversation, ask another (related) question:
Abhimanyu Dhiman Have thou by any chance heard the song “Committed to Parkview”?
Amandeep Singh I’m too scared to write stuff off Facebook….as in, for myself. Which is worse?
Or posed a question, which made you think of why you wrote in the first place.
Jona Ray you can’t be too scared, if you are still writing this! Just sayin’ 😛
Or put the fear of Big Brother in you
Joe S Ibanez On facebook, on instagram, on whatsapp. Zuckerberg is reading everything.
Some of these responses were to be expected. Some of these responders were expected. Others were a surprise. And that is where it got interesting. People I did not know were reading, were reading. And what’s more, responding.
When you write, you expose yourself to the world, a world larger than you know. And that world more often than not responds. Often these responses are unexpected, which means there is no way you can be prepared for them. Which is why, perhaps, the fear. Yet, when these responses open up a conversation; they open up something new, and in this opening into an unexpected territory one can find some redeeming value of opening oneself up. And that is why it is better, sometimes. to say something (formula: true, honest, inspiring, necessary, kinde= think), than not to say it. Because who knows, someone out there just like you, Arturo, me, will feel that jump of – me too! – when they read what you’ve written.
Nadia El-Awady We need a trade-off of some sort…balance things out for the both of us :-p
Perhaps we do. We have had this same conversation before, ya Nadia.
Also it was you that told me to write about a discussion we had about Egypt when I worried it was not my place to speak. I never regretted it. As long as it’s well thought. As long as it’s true, honest, inspiring, necessary, kind.