Since I started writing again, people keep asking me WHY I’m writing. Coming from most people, the question stems from a place of genuine curiosity. With others, the subtext seems to be: “What’s the point?”
I’m writing because it’s my outlet and I finally feel compelled to do so.
Seems simple enough, right? But, it’s been a process.
Writing has always been a love of mine. I wrote as a kid. Went to college for it.
Then, abandoned it for years in the name of regular jobs, losing myself in broken relationships, and excuses.
While I was in the midst of all this life, I no longer made time to write because it didn’t seem important. I went through the normal coming-of-age hurt we all go through and that begins to change us. We lose some innocence, we build some walls. Everyone has heard the advice, “Just write from your own experience”.
I became incapable of doing that. Instead, I spent my energy avoiding the feelings that revisiting these events would create rather than processing them through my natural outlet.
I was pretty uninspired. My feelings felt thin and stifled. I was devoid of a way to air out my thoughts and separated from myself. I could feel frustrated energy building up inside of me…but, couldn’t seem to figure out how to express it. The more frustration built, the more contained I became. Forever the trapped oxymoron.
So, I was forced to realize something or lose my mind.
Writing is my most direct and natural access to connection with myself and others.
Please note: there were several times that I attempted to start writing again.
I failed. Over…and over…and over.
I have countless lackluster stories taking up space on my hard drive. 12-page beginnings that are doomed to live forever in Act 1.
I hated every word I typed. I genuinely felt that I had lost whatever it was that made me able to do this writing thing. The more people reminded me that I was a supposedly a “good” writer, the more resistant to that notion I became.
The writer’s block stemmed from, “I don’t think I’m good at this anymore”. I assumed that I’d lost “it”. I couldn’t even tell whether “it” was passion or talent.
Finally, I arrive at a second realization.
I had been trying to write as the person I used to be.
Lo and behold, after so many years of accumulated life experiences, I had become a very different person.
I needed to start writing as the person I am now.
Writing originally came to me from a love of reading. As a painfully shy child, books were my greatest comfort and all about the escape. My younger self loved fantasy, while the person I’ve grown into is more fascinated by psychology and human experience.
At this point in my life, I’m less interested in escaping.
Escaping is fun, but being present is currently my priority. I value self-awareness and focusing on being the person I want to be. Making sure that my decisions today are based in a conscious effort to help me get where I want to go. Instead of sitting down and trying to force myself to write fiction, I started to write about things that resonate with who I am now.
I’m not always fully aware of what I’m feeling or focused on until I sit down and start typing. But, in the process of just putting in the time to do my work, I learn a little bit about myself and a topic always seems to come forward.
I choose not to concern myself with how many people will read this. I don’t spend my time trying to guess what this exercise of self-expression will lead to in the future. I do it because I feel like this is what I need to do right now.
If I’ve learned anything in the last several years, it’s that I should never ignore my instinct.
I don’t know the future. I don’t need to. I just need to be responsible for my present.
The things I write will not always be about personal growth. I hope sometimes they’ll just be funny. Maybe one day the idea for a story will pop into my head, like it used to. I’ll welcome it.
But, until then, I’ll simply write what presents itself to me.
If you were to meet me in person, you’d probably get the slightly more shielded version. Pretty sarcastic. Social enough, but hard to read. Friendly, but doesn’t tend to approach others. Good at small talk, but it kinda drains me.
You know, the whole “extroverted introvert” deal.
If you want to get to know me a little better, reading my words is a good place to start.
It’s a reliable glimpse into who I am and how I think.
As time passes, I can see my written self making more and more appearances in my daily life. Personally, I find that to be pretty damn exciting.
Getting these words out of my mind and onto a page makes me feel lighter.
We all need an outlet and it’s important to realize what yours is and use it. There will always be an answer to “why”, but try not to get too caught up in all that.
Do it because it’s good for you.
Doing good can so easily lead to doing great.