Thinking about writing and squishing origami stars to life, I’m pondering the next steps I need to take to get somewhere.
When I was younger, I wrote without second thought, and I read with little regard of a career. I read, nothing else. I wrote, nothing else. Yet somewhere along the line, as I have believed my love for writing to have grown, my fear of the craft has grown just as much. I’m not sure if I’m utterly out of practice or really quite scared.
No matter what, I feel like a bad writer, constantly. When reading should be relaxing and inspiring and uplifting and freeing and captivating, I feel as though I’m really trying to focus and learn the right way to write, when there is no right way. But my brain and my mind feel tight, strained, because I’m constantly looking for something I believe to be there… the magical elixir deluding my real-world senses and leading me into the magical world of those perfect, published writers.
Recently, I read “The Black Cat,” by Edgar Allan Poe, and despite the part of the narrator gorging out his cat’s eye and the hanging being emotionally tough for me to read, I loved the story. I felt that same spark when I was younger; I devoured the story and enjoyed analyzation afterwards, opposed to feeling forced to finish and scavenge between the lines for a tidbit of symbolism or other secrets that only a perfect writer could concoct.
I really have no idea what I’m doing.
I never did, but when I was younger, I read and wrote blindly, and it kept me going. But now, I want results and I want to write better… I want to be that perfect writer. I put all this unnecessary pressure on myself to be great, to be perfect, when all I really need to do is read and write. Then, after a first draft is done, I can revise. And then revise again. And then, perhaps, begin to churn the magic in my words into a powerful spell that will capture my readers as elegantly and effortlessly as Poe captured me, and if the spell is cast right, become a perfect writer (okay, no more perfects…).
I’m striving to claim immediate perfection, but I have to understand that, while I must still strive to do my best… no, scratch that concept. I want to understand that I don’t need to be perfect, because that is what revising and editing is for. To bring out the perfection in a story (I lied about the p-word). I’m here, for starters, to get the job done, and then here to polish it later. I hope that stating it out loud (in writing), will seal it in my head.
I’m done thinking that I’m in a stalemate, that I’m drowning in the doldrums, that I’m scared and shivering. Well, I’ll always be frightened by the darkness in my mind, the darkness my stories crawl out of, yet I love that darkness all the same.
My first year in junior college has been an adventure, as is every year of living, but being 20 years old and now in a new year, I feel as though the biggest change within me is taking place. From a young age, I knew I loved writing, and finally I decided to pursue writing as a career. But beginning college, I deemed myself “Undecided” and searched for answers…
And this week, I have found my answer.
I want to be a writer. I truly do. This is no longer my dream. It is my goal. Therefore, as fearful of a blank page as I am, or as fearful of being incapable to present a story in its best form as I am, I must be a writer. Something far greater than my being tells me, and I am grateful to that power and in love with that power and my creative darkness, and I wish to pursue writing with all my fear and love.
Hopefully, 2016 is the year of sprinting forward, step by step.