The Struggle of Writing

I remember it to be the last week before high school began, and I was so terribly alone and anxious with no one to talk to. No one seemed to share my worries or want to talk to me about it.

I began to write.

I had this notebook that I bought but never really used. I began to write. I didn’t think about what I was writing, and I really didn’t care. I wrote down what I was feeling, what was in my head, what I thought, what I read on the internet the other day. I finished that notebook by the end of the night.

Enchanted by the relief that writing gave me, I looked for some scrap notebooks lying around the house and just wrote and wrote and wrote. I don’t remember being that passionate about anything else in my life, but this was something I loved doing and thus began my long affair with writing, and eventually, this Medium post.

My writing eventually became a place where I could express my thoughts and emotions free from the fear of being judged or laughed at.

Any piece of paper, notebook, or anything that could be written on became some kind of diary of mine. I tried my hand at poems, essays, short stories, anything that I thought could be written down.

Thoughts flowed, emotions were expressed, I slowly began to realize that I discovered more about myself in my writing than when I just stared at a computer screen all day.

I discovered that I was almost constantly anxious about one thing or another. That I was deeply, incurably emotional, but I also discovered that I had a voice — a mind that has opinions and stories all hiding within the confines of my brain. Through these notebooks I discovered an outlet of sorts, it was where my voice mattered — and being so painfully shy in elementary this meant the world to me.

I wrote when I was happy, more so when I was sad. I wrote about my worries, my opinions, and my stance on things. I found a voice, and that voice gave me courage to speak, and eventually I found myself in the school newspaper, the high school debate team, eventually finding myself writing scripts, directing plays, helping my juniors, and emceeing for school events.

Writing gave me the power to be. It gave me opportunities I never thought existed. Writing gave me solace, it gave me a clear sense of mind, and it brought me solitude when the world around me was too noisy.

But all too often, pangs of self-doubt enter my mind.

Am I really a writer or am I just fooling myself? If I am, am I any good? Why do I write, and why do I torture myself when I can’t, for the love of God, seem to write anything good? Maybe I just got caught up in it before and I’m lying to myself. Am I just pretending?

I believe that Hemingway said it best in A Moveable Feast:

“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.”

It’s become a mantra at times of self-doubt, I’ve always written, why stop now?

I’ve been writing officially (I technically began writing short stories when I was 8, but I don’t think that counts) for about 5 years now. And I don’t intend on stopping. I’ve turned it over and over in my head and I can’t find any possible future in which I don’t write.

I’m a writer; after all, I can’t help that. Says who? Says me, I can’t stop creating stories in my head even if I wanted to. My soul is etched onto the stories, poems, and essays that I write.

It’s hard as hell many times. It can feel like mental torture, it personally hurts when publications reject your writing, but I can’t stop even if I wanted to.

It’s in my blood and soul. I’m a writer, that’s who I am.

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