A.Y. Daring (.com)

in which good things are held up for scrutiny

The Shitty Blog Post I’ve Been Wanting To Write For Almost A Year

I don’t know how to let myself write a bad blog post, but if I did, I would write it as a letter to myself like this:

Dear Me,

First, don’t apologise, no matter how badly you want to. You want to apologise to everything and everyone, especially hypothetical future You whose success has surely been destroyed by your utter inability to have a perfect day in which you do and say all the right things at exactly the right moments and impress absolutely everyone. Don’t apologise for not having a perfect day.

Then, resist the notion that every day is a new opportunity to fail. It is true, but that is unproductive, and it makes you wake up feeling nauseous and keeps you in bed for weeks at a time. Being so afraid of failure that you feel too anxious to leave the house or interact with people through anything but Facebook where you can write and edit everything you say 1,000,000 times before saying it is not how you save yourself from failure. You cannot save yourself from failure. Assume that failure is inevitable. Try. Fail. Try again. Fail better. Write the thing. Let it be bad. Don’t let it be bad in the same way more than three times. Let it be bad in the same way more than three times if you need more than three tries that to see and name and understand the problem. Do this again and again.

You need to fill the page with words. Don’t let it be blank. Write nonsense over and over if you need to, just don’t let it be blank. That is the only requirement. Fill the page with words and perfect them once they are written. Do not perfect them by yourself, in your head, at 4am, after 13 hours sitting in front of the computer afraid to open the Word document because every time you start writing is yet another opportunity to fail at writing The Perfect Thing. Write the thing first. It will not be perfect until it is at least written.

You need to seek feedback, and not approval. Feedback is not a judgement on your self worth. It is not a referendum on your abilities as a person. They do not hate you just because they have not professed their undying love. People get to be indifferent towards you. Most people are. They have big lives with their own piles of shit that only they can smell and your shit will not usurp their shit just because your shit makes you neurotic. They are not sitting at home in armchairs over steaming bowls of soup nursing their resentment towards you for not meeting the expectations you’re positive they have of you. They went to sleep hours before the sun rose, the sun rise you are staring at after staying up all night not writing The Perfect Thing while wondering how you were going to inform everyone that you are a failure because The Perfect Thing still isn’t writen. They are sleeping because either you did not fail or if you did fail, they’re nowhere near as torn up about it as you are. Detach from their approval, but respect their feedback.

Show up. Show up disheveled. Show up with your acne uncovered. Show up with that “extra” weight un-lost, and your work un-perfected, and your future undetermined. Show up, and do the thing. Let it be messy, just as long as you let it be. It won’t ever get better if you don’t show up to let it get started.

Publish it. Publish the shitty blog post with no apologies. Then go write the other things, and let them all be shitty. Do it. Fail at it. Do it again. Fail better.

Love,

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