It Sounded Better Inside My Head


Why is it that ideas seem brilliant in one’s mind, but once it is ejected out into the world through some medium, be it speech or sounds or words or gestures, falls flat and dead like a deflated balloon?

You know what I mean. That wonderful joke bubbling in your skull which, when exposed to judgment, sounds lame and receives only half-hearted laughs that trail off into awkward silences. Your idea of the perfect, family outing which is received amid groans by the necessary participants. Those story ideas that glisten with magic inside your mind but come out on paper lackluster and dull.

That last one is the bane of my existence. And, if you’re a writer, or a creator of any artistic or original work, it might be yours too. The It-Seemed-Better-Inside-My-Head syndrome. Being the eccentric lass I am, I have the ability, if I do say so myself, to come up with the strangest and fantastical ideas for stories. But even if I let them ferment inside my head for a while before putting it down on paper, it always comes out all wrong.

It’s like thinking the child in the womb is going to have purple, sparkly eyes and midnight hair and glowing green skin and for him or her to come out disgustingly normal and banal.

It’s quite a nasty shock, because you think to yourself, yes, yes, I’ve got this seed of a brilliant idea, oh boy, I’m a creative genius, they will shower me with accolades from the top of the Eiffel Tower once this gets published! And so you’re off floating on the clouds of idealism and egotism. And then, you’re all pumped and ready to birth your brain child into the world and thump! You crash down to earth like a flaming aeroplane. What? How could this be? And you feel a completely irrational sense of betrayal. Like, hands, why couldn’t you have written better words? Brain, why did you not communicate your sentiments better to hands? You feel inadequate and useless and get stuck into the why-do-I-even-bother-mentality, I mean, it’s obvious that you have you no creative or writing talent. Those were just silly ideas and fancies that popped into your head. You don’t have the ability to wrench them from the clouds and plaster them to paper.

Ultimately, it’s a disconnect between idealism and reality. You blow the entire concept out of proportion, channeling it to incredible heights of magnificence. The end product will never be perfect. It will often be just good enough and you have to realize that being good enough is not a bad thing. If you have enough ‘good enoughs’, then you may be able to reach an ‘almost perfect’ one day.

It might also be due to lack of practice, which is my problem. I’ve only recently begun a writing schedule. Before, the only writing I did was in bursts of inspiration. That gets you nowhere. But, because of that, I’m still in nascent stages of my writing development. I may have the ideas, but I don’t have sharp enough tools to carve those ideas out of the rock in one piece. They may come out lopsided. Some parts of it may crumble. They may not even come out at all. But I have to keep honing my skills if I want to achieve my writing dreams.

Writing is an act of faith. You have to believe in your own genius and abilities, otherwise you have nothing to buoy yourself in times of hardship, when the well of creativity runs dry or words start rolling out like haphazard pebbles.

So, even if it always seem better inside my head, I will not let that discourage me. It shouldn’t discourage you, either, no matter what it is. Tell the jokes that you think are hilarious. Voice the opinions you believe are true and valid and insightful. Do the things you want to do regardless of whether it lives up to the fantasy.

And maybe one day, it’ll come out even better than it seemed inside your head.



7 thoughts on “It Sounded Better Inside My Head

  1. Nice positive spirit there damsel, I like the sound of that.

    There’s a bright side to this phenomenon, when it comes to written words. You only have one chance with spoken words. They have to be perfect at the moment you say them, there’s no going back and rephrasing. You can always rephrase after and explain your thoughts, but the impression intended is forever lost; at best you’ll get a weaker form of it. Written words, on the other hand, can be rewritten ad infinitum if need be. So if your excellent idea isn’t rendered properly by your words today, it’s not lost. As long as it’s laid on paper, however poorly, at least from then on the idea won’t be lost. You’ll have a rough, imperfectly-shaped mass that you can reshape, chisel and repaint at will over time.

    Until someone invents a device that allows one to share ideas and stories to an audience through telepathy, without any need for a visual or auditive intermediary, with no meaning or beauty lost in the process, an artistic Holy Grail, it is the best artists can do. Yet, I believe it’s best that such a device never exists. The degree of ingeniosity needed to overcome the inadequacy of communicative media to render the fruits of the mind is sometimes even more commendable than the idea itself.

    • Very true! You, for example, expressed your sentiments very eloquently in this comment 🙂 I think that, even if telepathy came into existence, written words will still hold a fascination for us. Telepathy is too quick, if that makes sense. It’s like watching a Youtube video.

  2. Hi!

    I,m an HSP from Sweden who has recently started to read your blog. I relate to a lot of what you say, including the difficulty of finding the right career. I have been a freelance proofwrighter for a while and have comtemplated writing as a career myself.

    I was wondering what you think of writing as a good career for an introvert HSP? If you are succesful, only half of your time will be spent writing in peaceful solitude – the rest will be promoting yourself, speaking in front of people on a stage, giving interviews, reading excerps from your books to audiences, etc.

    What are your thoughts on this side of being a writer?

    Good luck to you!
    Malin 🙂

    • Hi Malin,

      I’m glad you could relate. And oh dear. Yes. That’s quite true. See, I often idealise everything. So when I imagine being a writer, I think of being holed up in a garret in the middle of a forest and not living my house except to smell the air and taste the wind. I’m sorry for being so unrealistic. I suppose, when it truly comes to the real stuff, if I ever do succeed as a writer, I will knuckle down and promote myself. I will put on the extrovert bodysuit. I will smile and talk and be merry. If that allows me to reach more readers and make more minds shimmer, that is a price I am willing to pay.

  3. Pingback: Writing is Fun Torture | Sensitive New World

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