Monday, August 24, 2015

Writing inspiration: you're part of the Borg, and that's a good thing

I haven't been writing here as much, partly because I've been writing other things but partly because of something I read.

When The Little Professor announced a while back that she'd cleaned out her blogroll because most bloggers either had stopped writing or were boringly repeating themselves, I gulped and thought, "Is that me?" (For the record, I don't think I was ever on her blogroll, but still.)

Now I keep thinking that everything I post here has to pass by the ghost of  Edward R. Murrow standing at my shoulder. 

But two other pieces were reassuring.

First, Historiann's post about public engagement, with which I agree.  I've done interviews (under my real identity), given lectures, etc., because it's important to do and also flattering to be asked. But even here, where I'm not posting under my real name, I can still contribute.

Second, over at John Scalzi's Whatever blog, this terrific piece from Felicia Day that sums up the writing process perfectly. You should read the whole thing, but here are just a few excerpts that helped to get me up and writing this morning:
I am plagued with perfection syndrome, anxiety and an acute self-consciousness that makes me convinced that I have a gob of mascara under my eye when I attend any public appearance. In general, hubris is something I avoid at all costs. (The internet helps reinforce it because someone is always willing to step up and tell you how much you suck. Thanks internet!)
But after the initial seed is planted, all our emotional baggage arrives with a jolly, “Hey idiot, reality knocking!” to dry up the enthusiasm. Inhibitions show up. Second guesses. Procrastination-reading of five other works in a similar vein leads to crushing thoughts like, “He had a robot dog in his book, I can’t do that now or I’m a copycat! I have no other ideas. I’m the worst!” I went through it all. And it cost me weeks of my writing life.  [much good stuff omitted]
So when you think about creating, focus on the idea of adding to the collective Borg consciousness, if only to get over your own road blocks and make it easier to get your voice out there. 

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