At the tender age of 7, I spent what seemed like an innumerable amount of hours working on what would be my very first “novel.” Inspired by my fascination for insects (a passion I have long left behind), my literary chef-d’oeuvre came to be about a ladybug and his (or her, I’m not quite sure) quest for, um…well I can’t seem to remember that either. Regardless, though the tale I told was far from timeless, it did manage to contaminate me with the so-called writer’s bug. Soon after, writing became a pass-time more favourable to me than drawing, as I would let my imagination run-abound, with only the linings of my college-ruled looseleaf to serve as boundaries.
Though I enjoyed writing for the pleasure that it gave me in being able to assemble words and ideas in a cohesive structure, I admittedly liked to write because I also had the far-fetched belief that one day I would be good enough to perhaps become a screenwriter and that people would somehow become envious of my story-telling proficiency. In other words, I liked writing, but I also liked the attention that it gave me (ego, much?). I didn’t like to gloat, or unabashedly proclaim absolutes about the quality of my writing, but I didn’t mind the exposure nor even the opportunity to recant my fictional tales to friends, parents and teachers alike.
As the years went by, however, my admiration for literature (prose, with some poetry on the side) grew and so did my understanding that being a writer wasn’t about being showered with praise and recognition. Being a writer (in the case of fiction) is about being articulate with your own emotions. It’s about trying to understand yourself and communicating that to a wider audience by means of characters, locales and/or motifs. You may disagree with that definition (and in a few years time, I may also), but, at the present moment, I cannot seem to define it more succinctly than that.
Though I once regaled myself in writing up amateurish works, I have, in the last few years, lost the pension for it. Why? Because, frankly, it’s hard. It’s almost torturous for me to have to sit in front of a blank sheet of paper (or Word document) and convince myself that what I have to offer is actually worth reading. Nowhere else than in front of a screen, as I type away some drivel, am I more conscious of the value of time. Nowhere else am I more desperately afraid of time being wasted and of my efforts utilized for nothing.
This anxiety isn’t healthy, but, it isn’t always recurrent. Just like while exercising, the pain that I feel, the desperation that seemingly envelops me as I yearn to stop…it all disappears in time.
Though I’ve neither had the time or patience to continue with my daily writing exercises recently (3/4 of this post was originally written more than nine months ago), it nonetheless remains a part of me.
With that said, time to turn this arid wasteland that has become my blog into something perhaps…less arid?
The Cynical Scribe