When I was a kid, I used to write stories in my head. I would think of kick-ass female spies who save the world at only seventeen, and of inventors who could make anything you could dream up (but struggle to use their powers for good instead of evil). I dreamt of strange worlds where mice told me what to do, where werewolves tried to kidnap my family, and where snowmen would try to pull me into the snow. Needless to say, I was extremely creative when it came to stories and worlds. I still am, but now I write them down and develop them into works that I’m proud of. I have a passion for creating, and I aim to have a book published by the time I graduate (in three and a half years).
However, sometimes I find it hard to write. Anyone with a creative bone in their body would understand the frustration that comes from the dreaded creativity block. Some days I have a thousand ideas, but I can’t find a way to get the words out on the page, and some days my brain is just blank.
This year, I’m aiming to find a surefire way to cure my writer’s block. I’ve just begun my second year of studying Creative Writing and Journalism, which means there’s a lot of writing for me. I often write things down and immediately cross them out – always aiming for perfection. I know I’m not the only person that second guesses their work or themselves. It sucks, but every single one of us has some self-doubt or is self-conscious about something – whether that be of your body, your personality, or your work.
I’m extremely self-conscious about my body. I worry that people notice the lumps and bumps on my stomach, or the hair on my legs, or my double chin. Whenever I wear certain clothes, that’s all I can think about – what other people think. A few months ago, I wore swimmers in front of my friends for the first time ever, and it was fun.
“Why don’t you wear swimmers more often? It’s so hot at the moment, and the pool definitely helps.”
“Oh, I’m just paranoid, y’know. Too fat, and I haven’t shaved my pale-ass legs.”
“Dayle, nobody notices your legs. And you’re not too fat. You’re perfect. Plus, we’re all friends here. Nobody cares or even notices.”
And that’s what stuck with me. When I look in the mirror, I see all the imperfections because that’s what I’m looking for. I see the rolls because that’s what I’m so self aware about. I judge myself because I feel I have the right to. However, if a friend were to come to me upset about their rolls and leg hair and pale skin, I’d tell them the same thing I was told. Nobody notices and nobody cares. The people that matter won’t judge you anyway.
When I write, I’m so paranoid about everything. I worry about the sentence structure, about using the right words, about every single thing. Sure, my writing and my body image are different things, but the way I should view them are the same. No story could be perfect, and no body could be perfect. They’re all different. I stare so long at the page and become so aware of every small detail, in the same way I look at myself in the mirror.
My writing can be judged by myself and others, and can be determined as “good” or “bad”. I’m always trying to improve my writing, not only for me, but for others too. My writing can determine the mood of others. However, my body is only for me. I’ve looked at myself every day for nineteen years, observing the freckles and the rolls and how my skin colour changes throughout the year. I’m the only one aware of those changes, even when that’s hard to remember.
I need to love myself more, and so do you. I need to love what I create, even when it’s not perfect (yet). I need to love myself, despite all that I’m paranoid about. We all need to accept that who we are and what we do isn’t always how we hope. All we can do is try to be better, try to be more confident, and try to love yourself no matter what.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You might not be a kick-ass female spy, or a genius inventor. You are you. You’re unique, and you’re absolutely perfect.