Hello. Okay, I know you may be wondering, where have I been? It has been three weeks since my last (and first) post. I am ideally supposed to be blogging more frequently about my fellowship experience. What has been holding me back? I’m dedicating this post to reflecting on that question.
Sure, part of it is balancing other work projects and milestones. That will always be there. But there’s also something more.
I mean, it is not like I haven’t over the past weeks written two different blog posts, both still saved in my drafts, neither published. When I think why, it’s that I just didn’t feel ready to publish them, and it’s this unease in unreadiness that gets to me. It is intimidating to me to have my words out there, on the WORLD WIDE WEB, forever and ever, where anyone can see them or read them, forever, especially when I have not been able to carefully craft them. It gives me what I’m calling
public writing paralysis.
What the life of words can be on the web is daunting to me. We have all seen our fair share of public figures being called out for something they said a long time ago (and I know this can serve as a social good too. And I know I’m not a public figure. But still.) I’m afraid of the possibility of being defined by what I write now as a 23-year-old in one of my first jobs out of college.
I recognize that this fear is a problem in itself.
Online writing is an act of courage. It involves the intellectually rigorous practice of organizing your thoughts. Writing in general can bring clarity and understanding, and doing it publicly and openly takes risk. You don’t necessarily know the life of your post or who will read it. There can be a lot of unknown.
But there is also a lot of known. It is not really as much of a big scary world wide web as I like to think of it in my head. 99.99% of the time my educated guess will suffice. I know that my posts go on our Digital Learning site, where maybe my team, some supportive people in my life, and the occasional site visitor whose attention has been peaked will
read skim? them. (online skimming— thoughts on this another day).
I also know that there is room to mold and grow as a person on the web. Even though I don’t feel like there is room for this (hence all my fears of being defined by what I write), I know somewhere deeper down inside of me that of course there is. And if the options “Edit. Delete. New post.” aren’t enough for me, other options can be explored.
Ultimately, I like what writing on the WWW affords. Even if it scares me and I struggle with it. The open ambience of come one, come all. Stay or don’t. Leave or comment or don’t. Your choice. Here I am world and here are my thoughts. Also the potential for sharing stories across physical barriers appeals to me. It can open a lot of doors and has. I met a trans person once and I remember him telling me how much Google searches helped him discover himself and other people like him. I have also found so much help online. When I’ve been alone, or confused, or unable to understand things about the world, I’ve turned to the web. I have found help, support, community, guidance, and people— a web of answers and networks. People.
In light of all of this, I guess writing for the web isn’t such a scary thing after all,
…or is it?
Until next time (you know if I ever move past my public writing probz),
Ya girl Fern
Ikra Javed ’18
P.S.~ You know, as it has taken me many hours to simply write this post—as I revised. and cut. and added. and I derailed. and rerailed. and I derailed again. and now am just going to post with how it is— it has occurred to me that I may be overlooking one slight bug that may also be a large part of my problem: scattered thoughts and the tension that poses for clear, clean, good writing.