It’s gray, drizzly, and chilly, though the Snowbirds here will contest that assessment. My laptop illuminates my office with more light than the window. Open tabs for office supply reviews freckle my browser. Hidden between tabs for erasable Pilot brand pens and Stables knockoffs rests a google search: do you capitalize with in a title?
I already know the answer is no, but in the age of the Internet, one can never be too sure.
That’s where it starts, the doubt. The chill of anxiety rolling up and down my spine, gaining momentum with every lap. What if the rule has changed and someone reads this blog post and decides never to read my work because I’m a hack…what if I really am a hack?
One capitalization error. One wrong pen for my new $35 planner. One wrong opinion about the weather. It’s always the little things that make me hesitate, to draw my hand back from the keyboard. I imagine a faceless reader pulling at the threads of my work, unraveling the main character who embodies my fight with anxiety, the painfully researched copy I wrote for a client’s industry website.
My coffee grows cold in the light of February, but my mind is on fire. Despite the anxiety, my fingers still itch for those keys. I let them go, running as fast as the self-doubt. If I let them keep going, they will outrun the fear.
A fat robin dances across the lawn outside my window as I type. She doesn’t look at me, but even in the drizzle, she pecks at the grass, finding what she’s looking for before flying away.