Fear and Loathing in a Text Editor

I’ve recently come to learn two things about myself. The first is that I enjoy writing. I really enjoy writing. When I get in the flow and the words just seem to come pouring out of my fingers. It is an incredibly rewarding feeling. Last year I wrote the first draft of a book in three months because I enjoyed doing it and didn’t want to stop writing each day.

Since then, I haven’t done much with it because the second thing I’ve learned is that I do not enjoy reading what I’ve written; I hate it.

As I’ve been slowly doing a first rough pass through the book to polish up the roughest parts of it I have more than once almost thrown in the towel and thrown the whole thing away. I read it, and it’s not anything like what I want to have written. My vocabulary feels too limited, my sentence structures are childish, and my brilliant insights are incredibly shallow. I feel like I need to rewrite the whole thing from scratch.

It’s scary to put things out there into the world. When I write I often feel as if I’m having a conversation with my imagined readers, I can almost picture them. It’s calming and makes the whole experience feel wonderfully relational. But as I prepare to actually publish something that same imaginary scenario becomes frightening, even paralyzing. When I’m writing I can adjust my words, restructure my sentences and control what I’m saying. And I control my imaginary readers in the same way, they’re all happy with it because I’m enjoying the writing process. But once I push the text out to the world it is fixed. I cannot change it anymore and the people who read it will be actual humans with their own opinions, not figments of my imagination who are receptive to my ideas and blind to my oversights.

I put care into what I’m writing and vulnerability is hard. It’s scary to let other people read and judge my work, knowing that they may not like it. Often I’ll get partway through typing something and that fear sets in and kills the creativity. The words languish in the text editor.

Am I a fraud; am I putting my naïveté on full display? When I fire up my text editor to continue working on a draft I look back on the words I’ve written, and they feel so juvenile, so poorly constructed and fragmented.

In Episode 27 of Baronfig’s Eureka Podcast Joey Cofone talks about feelings of anxiety surrounding creativity as he has been writing a book.

There’s a ton of fear, which I write about in the book. Creativity has a ton of fear involved, and you never get rid of it. But you just acknowledge it and still work anyway.

Joey Cofone

That really struck me because I really look up to what Joey has been able to do, all he’s been able to build and create at Baronfig. To hear that he knows that fear as well gave me so much encouragement.

Perhaps these feelings are part of the process.

Perhaps this anxiety is an aspect of creating that I need to learn to accept and even embrace.

Perhaps I simply need to take a deep breath and click “Publish.”

The Squire by Baronfig

“The Pen Is a Mighty Sword”

I will admit it, I am not the biggest fan of rollerball pens. There are a few that I like and only one or two that I love. That said, the Schmidt 8126 refill is a pretty solid refill. Sure, it’s not my favorite personally, but I like it pretty well. And even if I didn’t, the Squire takes Parker-style refills so I could experiment with one of the many options available.

The pen body itself is immaculately designed. The half twist to extend the writing tip is flawless. I can easily extend the tip while pulling the pen out of my pocket in one fluid motion. But the design is so good that I don’t have to worry about it writing all over the inside of my pocket. And the threading to replace the refill is so consciously designed that it will not disassemble in my pocket, a problem I’ve experienced before with other pens. (I’ve also had the pen in my pocket with my keys several times and can’t find a scratch on it!) This pen feels so good to hold. I simply can’t describe how good this pen feels. I’ve never held another pen that feels so carefully designed.

When I first opened the pen box I was impressed by the lovely solid weight of the pen. I handed it to my wife and she immediately declared it too heavy, but as soon as she started writing she said, “Never mind, it’s perfect!” The pen’s balance makes the weight disappear.

I got the charcoal Squire, so the box mine came in was the tiered vertical box. Pulling the Squire out felt like drawing Excalibur from the stone. Epic!!

Clearly, I love this pen. My only complaints are that the refill doesn’t leave as solid a line as I’d like 100% of the time. (It’s still pretty good though. And it’s possible that it’s just my refill.) The other quibble is that the pen barrel feels a little over-logoed. I love the sword logo, so the Baron Fig logo feels like a bit much.

Is this pen for you? If you are willing to pay for quality products instead of settling for the junk you can pick up at the corner grocery, then the answer is yes, absolutely! I backed the kickstarter and couldn’t be happier with the pen I got, and on schedule!

https://www.baronfig.com/tools/squire