Overwhelmed: Writing About Writing 1

Lauren Clancey

Even as I sat down to write this I felt overwhelmed.

I want it to be the best thing I’ve ever written. I want to write about everything that’s important and do it justice. I want to write perfectly, poetically and poignantly. I want to write with purpose and I want it to be easy to read. I want whatever I write to be just right. No margin for errors. No imperfections.

So, it begins. I hammer at my keys; the opening paragraph. It’s going okay. I like that sentence. I even laughed at something I wrote – genuinely. I finish the paragraph. I then start to doubt what I’ve written. “I don’t like it”, I tell myself. “It doesn’t make sense”. “It sounds simplistic”. So I start the next paragraph; writing now in a tangent. I finish that one. I still don’t like it. Change topic. I start another one. Then another one. And another one. Until I am left with a series of half formed thoughts floating on the page in front of me. A mixture of journalism, opinion, stream of consciousness, dialogue, narrative and poetry. It’s all a bit messy.


I want to blow over the screen, so a breeze can fall in between the gaps


By now I’ve teased, yanked and poured the words out from wherever they were sifting through. There they are sprawled on the page; panting a bit with sweat on their foreheads. Crushed up against each other and sitting next to someone they’d rather be two words away from. Squished in a sentence. Rammed in a paragraph. All struggling for air. I want to blow over the screen, so a breeze can fall in between the gaps. Open a window on the roof of the page and let the sun fall in. Cast a shadow over the words that don’t fit and allow space for the lines that sing.

But all I can see is a mess. I feel as if my brain has grown arms, reached them out of my ears and Jackson Pollock-ed the page. This idea I was so excited by, just an hour ago, has already exhausted me. If my brain could kindly pull it’s arms back in, please.

I’m still sitting here looking at the page and doubting everything I have written.

I still don’t think this is flawless.

But I’m going to send it anyway.

They say being scared is a good place to start. So, here I am, signing off. I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed and mildly anxious looking at my writing that isn’t just right…but knowing that it’s just the beginning and, as Julie Andrews would gloriously say, “That’s a very good place to start”.

Until next time…


Banner image: Pejac

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