Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fear of Writing

I developed something which one might well call fear of writing. Wait. Let me google if there's a word for it...Ha. Graphophobia. How elegant-sounding.

Let me be informal here. Let me just let the words flow out from my fingers. If I make grammatical mistakes, I apologise to my future self if I happen to read it some time in the future. I think it is a case of having too many other voices in my head. This is why dissertating does to you. It means letting all these other scholars get into your head and having them speak to each other. It is the immense reading requirement I have been subjected to this past year and half. Letting others in, figuring out what they say, letting them speak to one another. Hardly any space for me and my voice. Is it any wonder I haven't been able to write?

Second is I have lost confidence that I have anything real to say, any real original thought to contribute. Another thing about dissertating is this - swimming into the sea of what all other people have written in the past, and figuring out where you fit, where you can fill a void. So you think you've stumbled on to something super original and that you have these hallucinations of being the first to figure something out. Well, you do the lit review and you see that others have written in, on and around your topic. Your 'original' thought could not have been completely original...these other people were reading the same stuff you were reading. Its not impossible others will be similarly inclined to write about what you want to write about.

So yes, I am suffering from graphophobia. I must get out of this funk. I think the first thing to do is to start listening to my own voice again. When I let the others come in, I probably shouldn't let them do all the talking. I have to join in.