I have been thinking lately. A lot. Oh boy, how much I’ve been thinking. I envy some characters in novels, the ease with which they scribble their pensive anxieties and mental whisperings into the pages of a welcoming and non-judgmental diary. I find myself at a roadblock instead of a mere writer’s block this time…one where my very self seems torn in many directions and I simply don’t know how to disentangle my thoughts, my worries, and my emotions. Music brings out the very best in me sometimes…I listen to beautiful and haunting melodies fondly remembered in the past and the present, and I feel that romantic and ideal in me softly awakened. At least in those moments, I’m sure of who I am, of what I am. But music can only last for as long as it’s played or hummed or sung (or as long as the Wifi connection holds out wherever I am). And then I’m back to my brain’s worn-out ramblings.
Of course, if you were to ask what is bothering me exactly, it would be a number of things. One of which is writing itself. You see, I want to start my novel-writing. Recently, I paid a trip to FanFiction.net, a site recommended to me long ago by a friend. The result: me pouring over a veritable million stories posted there…me looking awestruck, red in the face, and ashamed of myself. Here are talented writers spontaneously posting stories (willy-nilly based on essential ideas and characters not belonging to them) for fun! Some of them are excellent…and at the end of it all, I hear the same thought echoing in my head: I claim to be a writer? How can I claim to love writing, when I’m finding it so difficult to begin on something I have so many ideas and warm enthusiasm for? I browsed along the website and found myself drooping. Because I have zero experience in fiction writing, except if you count one short story I wrote as a teenager. I got myself a helpful guide to crafting good novels, but I can’t bear to open it because it makes writing fiction so analytical and tiresome. I find myself wondering if all there is to writing a novel, besides using good grammar and punctuation and formatting, is using your ideas, wielding your imagination, and developing a story…a simple process that becomes complex as you dive farther and farther into what and who you want your characters to be, what your points are, what the purpose of the story itself is. Every author has a point lodged somewhere in his/her work, no matter what the critics say. And I agree that good writing is very hard to accomplish. I’m not worried about competition or others being better than me, because all writers have talent and differentiating between authors is like trying to name all plants by their Latin names and comparing their practical uses. You can’t choose or compare or criticize without making it personal.
Anyway, I hope that once I really start, once I find the courage to start somewhere with my story, my retelling, that ideas and the will to go on with the project will spill out of me, will overflow. That I will be able to do this. That I will prove to myself that I can do this. I keep saying how writing is merely expressing your thoughts and feelings in words on paper. Now I need to try. The trying will hurt at first, the willpower I need to continue will be evasive. But I have to try. I’ve just never been a very courageous person. “Courage is something you find everyday,” said Nim’s father in Nim’s Island. But the question is, where do you find it?
I think…I believe my “roadblock” is my own mind, which keeps finding obstacles, i.e. excuses, barring me from creating the door to my “storyworld.” The first of many, hopefully. I have the passion, the imagination, and the grammar to do it. I love reading and writing, which is critical. Now I’ve got to summon enough courage and willpower, two qualities I’m always at a loss to procure, to just start. My worries are concentrated on how I’ll pull through. Perhaps I’m frightened that once I begin, I won’t be able to stop? I only know that I’ve been working as a professional writer for 3 years. And it’s time. Beyond time to put my foot down and ignore warnings, reminders, and pitiful excuses. I have the strength to survive. I have the will to go on. Surely I can find some belief in my own abilities that will help me to pursue what I want most?