A response to a friend’s blog post:
I am no good at words.
A few years ago, I would have said differently. It was on the page that my tripping tongue found its footing. Pretentious and arrogant, I said, “I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.” After two years of college, the only statement that still holds true from Vladimir Nabokov’s quote is “I speak like a child.” It was a depressing realization, but a necessary one.
What once seemed like good writing became silly and juvenile. The essays and stories I wrote felt unfinished. By calling myself a writer, I had foolishly rushed into a world dominated by men and women far more talented. Bogged down by the feeling I was inadequate as a writer, I would write to prove myself wrong. The result would be disappointing, and I would validate my feeling of inadequacy. I circled the realm of words from the outside with head lowered, desperately wanting to get in.
During this time, I had lost focus on why I write. All that mattered was the feeling that I was never going to be good enough. I trapped myself in my own miserableness.
I did not start writing to become a writer. The writing was a product of the stories I wanted to tell. When I was younger, around nine or ten years old, I use to draw maps of fantastical lands. Each map would contain upside-down V mountain ranges, winding rivers, vast woods, oceans, and the occasional whirlpool. In this newly fashioned geography, I would place cities and towns. The next step was to go through the new map and name cities and mountains and rivers and oceans. It was hardly the final step, though. The map needed a story. And so I wrote.
Writing is a means to create. From idea to thought to pen and paper, the story takes shape. The rambling thoughts become solid, and a world comes to be. And so I write.
Occasionally, I stop writing. If one calls himself a writer, this is the second greatest sin he can commit.
If I stop writing, then I fail to tell the stories waiting for pen and paper. That is why I write even though words come sluggishly to my mind. Writing is the way I understand life. Before I write, the jumbled words form half-thoughts and feelings about the world around me. After I write, I sometimes stumble across a truth that I needed to remember. One day, I hope to share some of those treasured truths with others. And so I will continue to write.
Thanks for reading.
Keep on keeping on,