Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

If I Can Do It...

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I will always feel that I’m a really terrible writer. There are a lot of reasons for this, some valid and some invalid. I struggle with writing and publishing. I write a lot, I just don’t publish frequently. When invited to write to a larger audience, I hem and haw and typically don’t act.

But then I had a convergence of ideas, an insight, even. Writing and publishing is about engaging in conversation. A conversation with unknown participants. We don’t even know when they arrive; maybe immediately or in many months. There is a chance that something I write may spark something. It’s a chance worth taking, because it’s essentially free.

This is exactly how others write and spark something inside of me. A few ideas, maybe written by the same perhaps but often not, converged together. These ideas show me that yes, I can write and publish. I don’t need to do it well, I just need to do it. I can create conversations and tell a story. I can do it so I will do it.

I feel drastically unqualified (or under-qualified) to write, let alone share my amateur ideas about psychology, improvement and personal growth. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even remember high school English teaching English. I entered college and didn’t know what subjective and objective meant. That was a hurdle to overcome.

But these fears are more than fears: they are also ideas. The main is that this isn’t in a scientific journal. My absolute fascination with social psychology doesn’t make me an expert, it shouldn’t and it won’t. However I’m fascinated by it, have questions and experiment on myself. Why shouldn’t I write about it? Why shouldn’t I invite conversations? I’m limiting myself and my own knowledge if I don’t; the only way to maximize my understanding is to discuss it with others.

I can’t do that alone. I need others to converse with. I can’t converse without publishing. We live in a great world with information everywhere and I don’t capitalize on that. I can change it, and I’m changing it now.

Now when I think about what was holding me back it seems so simple and foolish. But held back I was, struggling against my own mind.

Nothing was holding me back, I just didn’t realize it yet.