Self-awareness is useful, it is something I try to develop in my own life. Be more aware of my feelings and emotions, of my body, my surroundings, of the hidden relationships and subtlest interactions between feelings, body, and surroundings.
Every so often, extreme self-consciousness becomes a hindrance, even a paralysing impediment. For example, when learning a new language, it is better to ignore the many mistakes you'll certainly make when start speaking, or writing. Of course, some awareness is necessary as part of the learning process, but if it overwhelms you, it does more harm than good.
And talking about writing. I used to struggle a lot with it (still struggling, but not as it used to be). It was particularly stressful during my time at Uni, when reading and writing comprised a great part of it, when you're continuously being evaluated based on what you manage to put on paper. Besides, in these formal educational settings, you're expected to write in a certain standard, squared and unnatural way.
I vividly remember how my Master's graduation supervisor insisted upon my use (or lack thereof) of a more formal English in my writing. Everybody knows a thesis and scientific papers are written in passive voice, of course! Supposedly, passive voice is impartial, it feels more impersonal; since impartiality and objectivity are the hallmarks of Science™, we all must write that way.
Furthermore, let's write as convoluted as possible, maximizing the amount of overly fancy words to sound a bit more sophisticated and scientific. Bull-shit. Yet, I had to comply if I wanted to graduate and get that useless piece of paper. I'm glad those days of nonsensical pretension are behind.
This little blog (and all the now defunct ones that precede it) helped my writing greatly. This less formal setup allow me to relax, to worry less about people judging my writing. Hence, I write more. I could even say I started to enjoy it (go figure!).
Nonetheless, I still get really annoyed when I find a published post with typos, leftovers of the editing process or those recurrent words that I repeat again and again through my texts (expand your vocabulary, dude!). In fact, finding some errors in a previous post triggered this one.
These days, however, when I find these annoying mistakes in my texts, I simply fix them and move on. I don't give a lot of thought to it.
Maybe I take it less seriously after realizing that, as a reader, I don't care when I see a typo here and there. Especially when I read blogs written by non-professional writers (as myself), I don't really care. I care about the message. I even tend to care about the mysterious person behind the keyboard.
What are you up to these days? I'll be around to read whatever you decide to share. That's it. No big expectations on my side. Be yourself, do what you do.
Perhaps the very few readers on the other side of the screen are also like that. And that's enough for me.
- It was not my intention to provide an example, but I wrote “writes” instead of “writers” here. After this post was published, I found this typo and fixed it. I'm adding this footnote as a record, a trace of what happened here.