The Heartbreak of Writing

I moved at the beginning of the year to study. It was hard, saying goodbye to loved ones. It was hard thinking of sharing a space with someone I didn’t know. The place is idyllic in the sense that I’m walking distance of where I need to go. I have the sea a few minutes away, I walk out of my front door and a huge mountain greats me on the left. If I were basic, I would have used #blessed in all of my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts.

However, saying goodbye to friends and family was easier than saying goodbye to writing. I didn’t anticipate saying goodbye to something I would use every day. I never thought my short stories, bad poetry, blog posts and just general writing would be missed like this.

Some time last year I wrote about how writing is a bloodsport. I still think it is. You still draw blood even though it’s supposed to be the easiest thing anyone can do. People write reports for work every day, copywriters create amazing things daily and I sort of made a bit of money from writing for a while. Somehow writing becomes the way you think. (Not that I do think in words, I think in pictures and my own movies.) Everything can be translated into words.

Academic writing is something different and I still get panic attacks over it. I’m not comfortable with it. I need to go to the dark corner in my mind, where the doors creak and it’s permanently cold. The door refuses to open and after kicking it for the umpteenth time it finally opens! I stumble inside, fumbling for a light switch and a dim light fizzes on. This is all I have to work with, but I somehow produce work. Scraping through. And so, shivering I leave the room, continuously repeating “thus, therefore, however, in light of…” making absolutely no sense until I leave the haze of the dark corner. This somehow transports me back to English and Biology classes, where this was frequently tested. My biology teacher made sure we could write essays that could be used in a university classroom. He was adamant to send off his pupils in good form. My exams were not fun, I would sit half an hour just contemplating what to start with.

The lack then of my creative writing drove me to tears. By week 5 I was contemplating burning books and forgetting that I loved writing. I felt like I was stabbed in the back by it. My sentences flowed but they weren’t beautiful or painted pictures. They were sitting in a hospital waiting room, staring at the ugly art on the walls, they could hear the sirens blaring in the distance but couldn’t join in on the action. In tears I messaged my friend Lauren, my best encouragement for when I didn’t want to write, and told her it felt like I was dying. Oh so dramatic! I felt like I was using stale, dusty words that I forgot how powerful they actually were. That evening I wrote some bad poetry just to appease the writing hunger inside of me. It was a light snack and soon I was hungering for more. I still am.

I still don’t write enough. I write because I need to, but it’s not the writing I need. It feels like I’ve been separated from my greatest love and we won’t ever be reunited. As a grown adult I didn’t think I’d throw a tantrum about writing, on a phone, in a message. I secretly wish I can somehow finish my novel this year (I have a bet on this, which is part of my reasoning). In my heart I’m still wishing that I will, reality however dictates that I won’t. Daniel, hahaha I’m still going to win that bet! Is this how passions die and dreams get shattered? Is this how we lose all hope and go fill grey cubicles, fulfilling the 9–5 we wish we never have to do?

Dear writing, my friend, my love, I miss you. I hope we can be reunited one day. I think of you every day. I still get excited when I see great writing, it makes me think of you. I did not abandon you. Gillian

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