Writing is always scary to me

I don’t think that I’m a good writer. My teachers never believed I was a superior writer either, giving me B’s and A-’s and writing in comments what I had to improve in writing essays and paragraphs. But I never improved. I threw the paper out at the end of class or on my way out of the school, and at home I would pick up a book and pull my laptop to me and open Word and start writing. I wrote quiet a lot, really. It’s as if I have always been writing. Most of my free time was spend either reading or writing, simultaneously listening to indie rock or watching independent film.
 I aspired to be the greatest novelist the world has ever seen when I was 12 years old. My aunt encouraged me to write, while my mom just rolled her eyes and walked away when I told her what I wanted to do with my life: write.
 But no matter how much I typed on my laptop or wrote with a pencil in a notebook, my teachers never liked it. I never liked it myself. If an assignment for my AP English class was to write a two page response to a simple question on the board, a question that became more and more complex the longer you stared at it, my brain would go blank and my fingers drop that pencil on the desk.
 I couldn’t function like my teachers required me to. I felt that if I set pencil to paper and words came out, I would be shunned for what I wrote. I anticipated everyone to hate my writing. Everyone.
 I have only shared my writing three times in my life before, only two times are very dear to me. The first, a dear moment, I showed a little story I made out from stapling printer paper together. It was a story about a girl that followed a dove in the middle of winter into the mountains, and the dove lead her to a secret doorway that went into a happy warm land filled with grape wines and red-roof houses. I recall that I drew pictures on some pages, illustrating how the new world looked. The second time was also dear, I gave my close friend Julia a chance to read some of my work. She was helping me choose a piece to send to an independent magazine that sprung up in Ogden and that I desperately wanted to be a part of. The third time, is when I let the editor of that independent magazine read the work I sent him. He said he wanted me to come and meet the team, and then was never heard from again.
 Every time I write something, be it on a piece of paper or on a computer screen, I feel a small ball of anxiety growing inside me. How do I deal with that? I turn on Beware the Gonzo, hold my phone in my hand with a page of a blog pulled up to give me inspiration – as if saying to me that if those kids could do it, so could I. And I push all my apprehension to the back of my mind. I’m writing this for myself in the first place, I tell myself, and for everybody else second. That’s not true, of course, but it still helps me deal.
 I’m terrified about my words not making any sense to you when I write them, or even to myself if I ever read the piece later. I’m afraid that I will be ashamed of what I wrote.
 But nevertheless I push myself and make myself put those words on the page and hope that it will all work out at the end.


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