Zìjǐ Xiězuò (自己寫作) I Write for Myself: Writing within Boundaries


I recently took a short trip to visit one of my best gal pal H in Michigan and came across why we don’t. For her is why she doesn’t engage & complete larger art projects. For me, it’s writing. We both love our perspective art forms and yet, we both often find ourselves unable to fulfill our potential in those perspective fields.

H shared with me something she learned in one of her art workshops which was very thought provoking. She shared that the fear of mistakes with larger pieces of art often hampers her from finishing projects. As talented as she is, it surprised me that she would have such reservations.

In thinking what hinders me to write with any consistent frequency is that I realize that in order for me to write consistently I have to have a passion for it, a story or a perspective which unapologetically monopolizes my mind, constantly badgering me until I surrender to tap, tap, taping it out on the laptop so that I can move on with my thoughts.

And it’s not a matter having nothing to write about. It’s become a matter of being attracted to controversial topics / current events which leads to my anticipation of the outpouring of negativity that makes me reluctant. Even under the anonymity of a pen name, there are risks that I will become someone’s pet project to be identified and located. It is a burden I am not certain is worth the effort.

So I limit my writing to neutral and vanilla things which can be difficult to muster the motivation to pull out the old laptop and write about.

It’s a risk that I am still pondering but at least now I am aware of my stumbling block.