September 20, 2012

I dread writing blog posts. I avoid writing blog posts at all costs. I’ve avoided writing this for over a week now, which I’m sure hasn’t made Greg very happy. My reluctance to write blogs is most parts laziness and some parts creative dilemma. There are millions of blogs out there — not just hundreds of thousands, but actually millions. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone informed me that there are more blogs on the Internet than there are people on the planet.

I’m paralyzed by the thought of these millions of blogs because the sheer number of them makes it a statistical improbability that I can produce an original, creative, constructive contribution to the world of online intellectuals. I hate the idea that I’m producing yet another trite piece of drivel about Writer’s Block, or the dismal state of college-level writing these days, or the type of word processing software that I use to produce my nonexistent blog posts. I start on a topic and then have the thought: “Someone’s probably already written about this and done it better than you.” It’s enough to make me want to throw my brand new laptop at a wall, rescind my member-of-humanity license, and never write a word again.

This is a fear that runs deep. The thought that nothing I can say is worth saying, the thought that everything I would care to say or think has been said before, and that renders it obsolete and purposeless… I’d almost rather not try to write anything at all.


And let’s be honest. Sometimes, I really would rather not try to write anything at all. Sometimes, I don’t and won’t write.

Other times, I do.

Why? If I’m so terrified of being unoriginal, if I really do think that nothing I write is worth a gram of shit, why do I keep doing it? Why am I laying out my fears in front of you, for example?

In my case, it’s something I can’t help. Even if I wanted to give up writing for good, I don’t think I could do it. When I’m going out of my mind, when I’m backed into a corner by the indifferent world, when I need to disappear, writing is there. Writing is not the thing that’s there every day; it is the thing that’s there when I’m at my worst.

I keep writing along the edges and crevices of my mind, and I keep churning out mindless, trite drivel about Writer’s Block. I’m still paralyzed by the possibility of unoriginality. But when I do move, when I do write, a different possibility begins to exist.

-Tammie Vicente

About BentleyWritingCenter

This is the official blog of the Bentley University Writing Center staff.
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2 Responses to Paralysis

  1. pwsatusf2012 says:

    Very well articulated post. I never really thought much of the dilemma of unoriginality…the English language is so vast, and there are so many ways to say one simple thing, that there develops a competition of who can say it better. I think on this particular topic, you’ve done quite well. If my college-level writing/pep-comment amounts to any credibility…-Beth

  2. Thank you! It does mean a lot to have someone give me a pep comment on this, since it’s an issue that I often struggle with, and one of the primary hang-ups that deter me from writing.

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