Write or Die Trying

Write or die trying. That is the plan.

According to Blogging 101, I should start my blog with an introduction. So in accordance with my respect for good etiquette…

Why, hello there. Welcome to my blog. I am a fresh inductee into the world of higher degree research, struggling with impostor syndrome, and an inability to spell. I am also an artist, a mother, a high school dropout and an ex street-kid.

In just a few weeks I am starting a PhD in Philosophy. Even in just contemplating the task ahead I find myself becoming lightheaded and have to remind myself to breathe. Imposter syndrome has already kicked into full swing and my anxiety levels are reaching an unprecedented high. If I put my feelings of fakery aside for a moment, my biggest issue is that I hate to write. I really hate it. Some days, every word is a struggle. During my undergrad, countless hours were spent crying into my keyboard desperately searching for words. I know that this kind of frustration is common, even for people that actually enjoy writing, but for me the frustration only amplified an already completely irrational and paranoid fear.

I am quite certain that writing will be my undoing. The written word is so terrifyingly permanent. I have said so many stupid things in my life and I am genuinely grateful that they were only said and not written down somewhere to be later unearthed. Like remember that time I told you that the fact you were a Virgo with a Taurean moon gave me insight into your personality? Or worse still, the time I pronounced hyperbole – hyper-bowl. Thank god there is no record of these embarrassing incidents.

While we are on the topic of embarrassment, I should mention (and perhaps apologise for), my spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Spelling in particular has haunted me my entire life. Without spellcheck I become almost completely illegible. My spelling has improved a lot over the course of my degree, but I can more easily make sense of Kant than I can phonetics. There has always been something with phonetics I just don’t get, and I am continually perplexed by other people’s ability to sound words out. Recently my uncle was diagnosed with auditory dyslexia, and while I myself have never been officially tested, a similar diagnosis wouldn’t surprise me in the least. But I will whinge more about this in a later episode.

The purpose of starting this blog is to challenge these fears face on. I think there is a writer in there somewhere, if only I could get over myself. I read an article recently that said the most effective treatment for imposter syndrome is simply acknowledging that imposter syndrome is a thing. Since my orthographical deficiencies are a definite source of fuel for feeling like an academic fraud, I guess I will be starting there, but I plan to also get down and dirty with some of the other reasons self-confidence is an issue (brace yourself for the inevitable mother issues). I am hoping that in naming and claiming my fears, challenges, and failures I will be able to fight my way through them, and not only finish this PhD, but actually feel like I deserve to.

Words that were misspelt in the making of this blog.

Contemplating, breathe, anxiety, unprecedented, struggle, desperately, amplified, irrational, terrifyingly, permanent, genuinely, Taurean, bowl, embarrassing, embarrassment, apologise, grammar, punctuation, particular, haunted, entire, illegible, phonetics, continually, auditory, whinge, purpose, orthographical, deficiencies, source, fuel, fraud, feel.

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