When I try to write something, there’s an intangible “voice” in my head that tells me that:
“You have nothing of worth to contribute.”
Sometimes, it’s so subtle that I don’t even notice it’s there and what I wanted to say turns into self-deflating and comical paragraphs without much content. At other times, there’s another distinct voice who, after looking at the above, turns around to look at me just like Kevin Spacey does in House of Cards and tells me:
“Well, that’s probably true.”
Many times, I stop at that, unconsciously discouraged by these voices in my own head. Sometimes I imagine a bird singing in the forest and wonder if they sometimes feel the same. “Should I sing? Or should I stay quiet? Is my bird song good enough to be expressed?”
And I wonder, if in the middle of a song, a bird ever goes “Ooh… That didn’t sound good…! Better shut up now!” Sort of that part of my brain which looks at what I’m writing and comments on it incessantly without having enough information to really judge it objectively. Do I judge a book by it’s first three paragraphs? No. Then why would I judge something I write by the first three letters?
Sort of what Henry van Dyke said:
“The woods would be quiet if no bird sang but the one that sang best.”
Birds are not perfectionists. They are smarter than humans in the sense that they just go for it and adjust as they go. Sure, many times they die in stupid ways, especially pigeons, but then again so do humans. And, thinking about it, dying in a stupid way is just as bad as dying in a non-stupid way, at least for the creature dying.
I wish I had the same levels of shame and perfectionism as a bird. Then I would write, create, sing, laugh, cry and live to the max and, if fortune was with me, I’d not die in a stupid way. Though I’d prefer to live to the max and die in a stupid way, than keep all my songs inside and then die anyway.