Writing is hard. I sit here in front of the blank screen trying to find words that will flow into sentences that will flow into paragraphs that will form some coherent thought. I don’t know why I’m drawn to this endeavor. I’ve found every excuse there is over the past twenty years to avoid writing, yet the desire to do so, to explore it, continually resurfaces. I fill my time with projects, commitments, relationships, distractions that I convince myself are more important than the selfish and irresponsible crafting of sentences. Yet here I am again. The blue cursor blinking impatiently, as if knowing better than I my destiny. Telling me the wait has endured too long.

The pursuit of writing is facing my fears. The fear of judgement, of rejection, of failure. Ironically, not pursuing writing has in no way alleviated my experiences with the mentioned. In actuality it probably contributed.

We are free to chose our own paths in life, however we tend to take wrong turns. Life doesn’t come with a Google Maps app you can plug in your ultimate destination and expect three distinct options for getting there, assuming you start out knowing where is there. Rather we go blindly, or all too often only able to see to the next Bend. Some of us are more in-tuned with our spirit, our gut, the entity within that guides. They are better at correcting and getting back on track. Others, like myself, hear the voice but have learned to suppress it. We tell ourselves that path is too hard, or too irresponsible, or we convince ourselves of failure before attempting. However, we can only distract ourselves for so long. Eventually the path you’ve taken, if being wrong, will lead to failure. Failure because your heart isn’t in it. Failure because the motivation isn’t strong enough. Failure because you were meant to do something different, something more. More may only have meaning to you.

I believe failure is linked to taking the path of another. Until we choose our own path we will continue to fail and find ourselves back at that proverbial and familiar fork in the road.

Will I choose differently this time around? Will you?


  1. Really glad you posted this. Exactly what I needed to read – at the exact moment .
    Nice work

  2. Good fodder for discussion, Paul.

    Life does come with a Google-maps like app – it’s called culture. Whatever culture you were born into, your culture – the culture of your family, town, including church/school/gang etc. is the embodiment of all sorts of values. These values usually manifest themselves in aphorisms or traditions, such as “don’t talk to strangers” “obey your elders” “always wear a head-covering” “don’t eat pork” “charity begins at home” and thousands of others. The point of all these cultural values is to give a young person a track to run on, so you don’t have to make it up yourself. Do all these things, your culture is saying, and you will be all right. People will accept you. You will belong to the cultural group. Whatever comes up, there is an adage, a bit of wisdom from someone who came before you, distilled into a handy saying, to tell you which way to go – just like Google maps. The blunt truth is that the purpose of culture is to save you from having to think for yourself. And for most people it works just fine, if you accept that half the population is below average intelligence (or what does average mean?) then they can’t be expected to work it out for themselves ‘cos they ain’t too bright.

    I’m not debating the merits of this, I’m just stating the facts.

    Personally, I think progress is only effected by those who buck the cultural norms, the shit-disturbers if you will, the ones who reject the cultural norms and go their own way. They may crash and burn: Jimmy Morrison, Holden Caulfield, James Dean, and the like, come to mind. They may not have achieved world peace or made a difference like Mandela or King, Jr. but like the first penguin to jump off the ice floe, they showed the rest of us that it was possible, and others followed. Someone had to be first.

    As for writing being easy or not, I think it bears a resemblance to taking up running. The first time out the door may be difficult, fraught with worries like, am I ready? What if I pull a muscle? get lost? get a cramp? What is this pain in my side? a stitch or am I having a heart attack! What if people point and laugh? maybe I have the wrong clothes/shoes/ sunglasses, and then there is procrastination. But like training you get better with practice, or you find out you suck and you quit. Either way, evolution rules, get used to it.

    Check out the Morning Electroshock forum over at
    if you want a way to start your day off with 300 words or so, painlessly.
    I’ll play along, since I’m a moderator there.

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