Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why I love to write

The quick answer is: I just do. I don't know why, but I just love to write.

The long answer would be: I just love putting words on paper. Writing helps me to clear my thoughts. It helps me to feel connected to myself. It makes my feelings real. It validates me. I adore words and I adore how one can paint a picture or a seen with words, just like an artist can do with paint (and I am also an artist too, by the way).

Since I was actually able to write, I did. From the age of seven I started writing little stories and I haven't stopped since. I don't personally know of any other seven year old that spends hours creating and writing stories. (I have read of other writers saying they did this, but I haven't met any of them.) So as a child I did feel a little different but I was oh so happy to write.

One of my first little stories was called "Myrtle the Turtle" which I wrote and illustrated in pencil. I still have the pages. I also have a fully colour-illustrated children's story called "Bonzo The Dog" which I wrote at the age of fourteen during the school holidays. This was my idea of a fun way to spend my school holidays. I got my mom to type it up and we sent it off to a few publishers. (It got rejected, of course, but I wasn't too fazed back then, thinking I had my whole life to pursue this love of mine.)

So, looking back, I can see that my love of writing has been with me since before I could question it, and I assume it is a pure desire that I have and not stemming from my ego. Naturally, as I became older, my ego did distort my passion. Fear crept in (as it tends to do) and I worried about what people would think and rejection and sounding silly on the page and having nothing valid to say. And the list of fears and worries goes on....

But along with the fear, I started fantasizing about fame, and writing a "great" novel. (Don't we all?) That is a sure sign of the ego creeping in.

However, even with my fear and ego distracting me, I still had (and still have) this intense desire to write, no matter what. Over the years have started about seven blogs. (And deleted them because they were not focused on the "real" thing which is writing). I have also written pages and pages - some articles,some short stories and started on some book ideas.

Throughout my twenties I believed that I was still too young to write anything worth reading. Oddly enough at that time, I dated a guy (my first serious boyfriend) who also dreamt of writing a great novel, and his theory was that he could only write something "great" after the age of thirty, when he had collected some life experience. I tended to agree with him. After all, what could a twenty-something year old write that would be new or wise in any way?

However, I am now 35 years old with enough life experience and yet I still haven't written anything. And by written, I mean anything that is getting published. Except for one piece that got published in Odyssey Magazine years ago and a small children's book that was published when I was 18 by a tiny publisher called Umsinsi Press. (See how I discount my two small successes?) So let me re-phrase: I have written loads, I just haven't done anything with my writing and I have lots of work that remains unfinished.

So what now? Well, now I need to simply DO IT (and finish more stuff) and let go of the outcome. Easier said than written but definitely worth a shot.