Deadlines are like childbirth.
You plan and prepare and worry and stress in the months and days leading up to the due date. And when the day finally arrives you feel two opposing things: you’re scared and not ready for an actual, tiny human to come out of your body, just like you’re scared and not ready to share your final product with the world. But also, there’s no chance you will last one more day with your bulging belly and aching feet, just like you can’t read your essay one more time or you’ll go cross-eyed.
Okay, I know, deadlines are nothing like childbirth and I should never compare childbirth to anything because no metaphor will do it justice.
My point is, I have an essay to share with you today.
It’s all thanks to Michael Dean and The Writing Studio. For over a month, I met with Michael on weekly Zoom calls to brainstorm and plan and organize my thoughts. In the beginning it was pure fun. Halfway through I started to wonder, Am I going to be able to write an essay out of this mess? And in the final week, I was sure I wouldn’t finish in time.
That’s the beauty of deadlines. You don’t have a choice. You write and edit and iterate, and then, you let it go and make room for the next thing.
I wrote about the benefits of writing under a pseudonym. Here’s an excerpt:
When I used to write under my real name I was afraid to be honest and take risks. I remember wanting to call my sister an asshole in a blog post. I felt paralyzed. My fingers hovered over the keyboard as I debated the repercussions. Is that too mean? What will Alexis say? What will my whole family say? Will they stop speaking to me? I shouldn’t say bad things about other people.
It was exhausting.
So instead, I wrote the Instagram version of myself. I dressed to impress. It was like my resume with all my shining qualities. Even when I thought I was being honest and forthcoming it was still through a filtered lens of trying not to offend anybody.
Seeking approval from the people in your life — family, friends, bosses, co-workers — sucks the fun out of writing. And when you don’t enjoy writing your audience can tell, and then it sucks the fun out of reading, too.
Read the full essay here: The Pseudonymous Cape.
Until next week,