What a lovely coincidence that I decided to publish this old piece on my four-year anniversary with WordPress.com. I originally had planned to publish it instead of my last post, but I didn’t finish and wasn’t too sure where I was heading with it. Luckily you can write things for the simple reason of “just because.”
As I sit here staring at this page, I reflect back on the things I have written over the course of my life. I look back on when I first began writing; who inspired me, what I used to write, and how I felt about writing, both in the moment and as a whole. I think about how I confident I was about my own writing- ashamed to share my work with people I actually knew and saw on a daily or weekly basis but proud to publicly post stories on websites for thousands of strangers to view. I have come to accept that I started writing with the enthusiasm and interest of a child. It wasn’t something that I picked up on my own that grew into a great hobby. I was looking for the approval of someone I then saw as a role model and only wrote with the intent of creating something better than anything anyone else had ever written. I guess that’s how most writer’s feel to some extent. Who doesn’t want to write something that reaches out to thousands or millions of people? I will probably always have at least a little bit of that feeling behind everything I write. But even though the idea of writing was only sparked after I tried to keep up with someone who I admired, it did grow into something I now have a great interest for. I had my moments where I wouldn’t write anything for weeks or months at a time because I was distracted by other things or just simply wasn’t in the mood for it. But over time writing and reading have made their way back into my life and the desire to read everything that catches my eye or write about anything that comes to mind takes over a good portion of my life.
I’ve written tons of blogs about how much nostalgia I feel when I look back at the things I wrote in high school or early college, but they were just that- nostalgic posts where I longed to have the wit and cleverness that I had back in the day. I never truly looked back on how my writing improved and later began to transform into a different style that I wasn’t ready to accept. As many things begin to change, I am opening up to the idea of letting writing take over more of my life than it has ever before. I want to devote more time and energy into writing in order to advance how I write and see where it can take me.
Anyone will tell you that writing is not an easy path to go down. For me I feel like it’s especially hard when I tend to second guess everything and it feels like I’m shut down for having high hopes and dreams. I grew up in a home where no one was encouraged to reach for the stars. My shyness and introversion was taken advantage of when I was younger and as time goes by I look back at how much my view of a successful life was shaped by my mother and other people around me. It makes you really wonder how we’re supposed to pick a path for college when we’re so young and have no idea what’s really out there besides what our parents and people at home tell us. Only after experiencing some of the things I thought I wanted in life did I really see that I didn’t actually want those things. Certain experiences have caused me turn back to the things I always liked and never really gave enough attention to, like writing and reading.
I noticed that I have a negative view of other people who seem to be exploring writing themselves. I especially looked down on those in of the same culture and background who started to share their writing with people they know. I thought, “well that sucked,” “they need to write more,” or “this was stupid” after reading something that wasn’t up to the standards of published authors. I judged the way they wrote and the topics they wrote about without thinking of my own writing. It never occurred to me that they might have been starting out like I was, or were only exploring hobbies and different ways to express themselves.
Although I have started to accept that not everyone’s writing is the same and tried to shut down some negative thoughts about people who have begun to express themselves through words, it still doesn’t mean I agree or like what they write. Finding my own style doesn’t mean I should love what other people write, just like it doesn’t mean I should hate what they write.
The journey of writing will always reflect my life. Any writer will tell you that heartbreak and tragedy will bring out your best work. But the more I experience things for myself, the more I see that writing is contingent with our emotions, and some of us are good at being sad while others are better at being happy.