Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jiu Jitsu Style and my (lack of) Confidence as a Writer

Blogging has pushed me in ways as a writer that I would never have expected. I am...well...I was pretty confident in my writing. Then came BJJ. I didn't realize how much wider exposure can rattle confidence until I was asked to expound on this piece by Jiu Jitsu Style magazine.

It should have been a breeze. I thought back to my junior year in high school, the year my special little school decided English class should become a writing bootcamp. Three, four, sometimes five times a week, we were given 40 minutes to analyze and write 700 words on pieces like Hemingway's Big Two-Hearted River or Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn (my stomach turned a bit just typing that). 1800 words on a topic in BJJ that I'd already started thinking about? I could do that in my sleep. I was beyond needing to feel inspired to write...or so I thought. Funny thing how NOT doing something can inflate your sense of skill.

I've written for publications before, but none in communities I cared as much about as I do BJJ.  I found myself worried--doubting my grammar and my voice. Was I being too casual? My syntax! Is proper use of the subjunctive too stuffy? I use too many ellipses? (The answer is yes. Yes I do.) I texted my brother, whom I've watched go through the painful cycle of writing death and rebirth many a time. He assured me that he'd only be worried about me if I weren't concerned about my work. if you run across a copy of the Gunnar Nelson issue, check out page 80. That project calmed a lot of my fears, but between that and upping the ante with projects over on the journal side of GiFreak, I'm less confident than I've been in a really long time. 


slideyfoot said...

It was a good piece, so hopefully now that you've written that, you'll start to feel more confident about writing. Particularly as you already know you're a talented writer, given this blog and your previous publications. :D

Georgette said...

You're a very good writer :)

Anonymous said...

You have nothing to fear. You are talented! Don't let those voices in your head get the best of you

Megan said...

Thanks's really a funny process. Jiu jitsu creates challenges on many levels.