This is my first Odyssey article and I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to make it absolutely amazing.I wanted this article to be perfect, better than anything I had written before, this is after all the first time many people are going to see my writing.I stayed up night after night debating which topic I should focus on, I tossed and turned and just couldn't make up my mind. Finally I decided on what I was going to write. Up there on its pedestal it shimmered in its golden glow and at long last I was finally going to be able to put it down on paper and show off my mastery. I couldn't write out five sentences -- not even one paragraph. This grand idea that had seemed so pristine in my mind was crashing like a train down onto my paper. I typed slowly and awkwardly and the whole thing was just a mess. The prose was boring, the grammar botched, it was all just one big eye sore. Fake is the best word to describe that first attempt, plastic might work too. It just wasn't me. My wonderful idea didn't have any soul in it, nothing that made it uniquely mine. None of my values, none of my strife, none of my spirit, it was a gilded shell. Eventually I figured out no matter how methodically I plodded the words out, no matter how much I planned and outlined I just couldn't write it. So now in my second attempt I'm going to try the exact opposite. I'm simply writing what's on my mind at the moment, the same thing that's been on my mind for a long time. Granted, this could be just as bad it could be even worse but its worth a shot.
Not once leading up to the new year had a resolution even crossed my mind, it's over a week later and still nothing. There's nothing different from December 31st and January 1st, the whole idea of new year's resolutions are stupid and they don't work. That's not my opinion, it's a fact go look it up. So no resolution for me just gradual improvement on a variety of things over the year as it should be.
In spite of that and in keeping with the culture there is one thing I've always wanted to improve on ever since I started writing and my first online article seems like an appropriate place to bring it up. I believe that great works of writing are great because the writer puts everything on the line. Everything they believe in, everything they value and hold true is out there in the open for all to see, for the whole world to judge. That's reason why the first idea for this article didn't work out, like I said it wasn't really me. Being me, being 100 percent honest about who I am is an incredibly scary thought. It'll mean that any stranger who reads my writing will know everything about me. They might even piece together things I didn't know about myself. The person I am and the person I act as when others are around are two very different beings. Scarier than having strangers read something I wrote is what happens when the people I know read my work. I know that if I am completely me and totally honest to myself in my writing I will not be seen the same. I won't be the old Henry, I'll be treated and therefore become some completely knew unknown thing. And it's exciting to think that this unknown thing will be celebrated and cheered, I can’t help but think that will not be the case. There's a large part of me that thinks my thoughts and ideas will distance me, I'll become ostracized, an outcast. Worse than that though is the thought that my ideas will get me laughed at or they won't be special at all and I'll be another pencil pusher for the rest of my life and die in a cubicle.
Overcoming by self doubt is not going to be easy for me to do. The alternative however is not an option for if I cannot get the better of it, it will get the better of me and I will never be able to speak my truth. Little by little I have been conquering my fear and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I will get past this one day. I think this article is a good first step, I sets the wheels in motion. I have identified a concrete problem and can now come up with a real solution to it. As much as I hate doing it I suppose I'll bend to the norms and say that this is my new year's resolution. Not just to write more but to write true. Don't be afraid what anyone else will think just write what speaks to you. A cliché, yes. Overly simple, maybe but none of that will matter as long as I stick to it. I must put my soul on the paper and let the whole world see.