I keep trying to get myself to write something for my blog, but I’m such a perfectionist that it’s hard for me to feel comfortable posting anything. However, my professor for my creative writing class says that writing is being vulnerable, so here I go. I’m just going to write and post this and not worry about other people’s thoughts. I’m even writing this on wordpress and not in a Microsoft Word document, just to make sure that I’ll actually post this. Maybe I should start writing all my blog posts in wordpress. That way, I’ll actually post them instead of ‘holding them for later.’
I’ve been writing off and on since I was a kid. I have fragments of several stories I tried writing with my friends, and some stories I had begun writing by myself. When I was maybe 10 or something I tried to write a ghost story. I don’t remember how far I got, but I still have the copy of it somewhere. I was never writing to be published, only for fun. I am now an English major with a dream of actually finishing something and getting it published. Because that’s a completely realistic goal. But a blog should help me get started writing, right? Well, if I were to actually write for my blog, it might help, but considering the fact that I never actually write anything, it’s a little bit difficult. I tried to get myself to write a blog post every week this year, but I haven’t even started that yet. Maybe I should.
I was talking to a fellow English major friend of mine yesterday, and she was talking about trying to get into the honors program here at school, saying “I just want to have something I write published.” I then responded that “isn’t that every English majors dream, though?” But of course, that’s every English major’s dream—to get something published. Maybe that’s why I think of it as such an unrealistic goal. Because so many people try to get published that i think, ‘How could I possibly get published?” I suppose the answer to that question is to be better than other authors. But that takes time, effort, and practice, and what lazy person does that? Well this former lazy person is actually going to practice.
In my creative writing class, we watched some videos by authors talking about how to write, and one author (some mystery author I’d never heard of before) said that “writing is constant rewriting.” That is a very annoying writing fact that I very much don’t like, but also it’s very helpful and relatable. My teacher then had us do a writing exercise where he gave us a prompt, we wrote for about ten minutes, and then he collected what we had written, and to our shock and dismay, crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. I was horrified. Actually I wasn’t that upset. Maybe a little shocked, but mostly relieved that he didn’t read them all out loud in front of the class or something. I always think my writing is terrible. I’m also constantly worried that people will judge my writing. Because what author wants their writing to be judged and labeled as stupid or dumb? Most authors don’t, simply because of what I quoted from my professor earlier in this post: “writing is being vulnerable.” And who wants to be vulnerable, and then find out that our vulnerability has been labeled as stupid or ridiculous, or not worthy of being read and accepted?
I think that’s why I have such a hard time writing things for this blog–because no matter what I write about, my writing is vulnerability, and I don’t like that. I don’t like opening up and being rejected or ridiculed for it. No one does, of course, but when your a writer, that’s kind of your thing–opening up and accepting that some people will ridicule you for it. But that’s okay, or it should be. Just because some people will ridicule your writing doesn’t mean that everyone will. In fact, some people will really appreciate your writing and find it really helpful and relatable.
One of the “writers talking about writing” videos we watched yesterday was Stan Lee talking about writing, and one thing he said was “Write for yourself, not for others.” Basically he said that you should write something you enjoy, not what other people will like–because if you enjoy it, someone else is bound to like it too. But you never really know what other people are thinking, or what other people want. Therefore how can you really write well for other people? So write for yourself, and it will come out better, you’ll like it, and hopefully others will too. That’s something that’s really helpful for me to remember. If others like my writing, amazing! But if they don’t it’s not the end of the world.
You know, I’m glad I’m taking a creative writing class. This is going to be good for me, even if–no, especially because I think it’s going to be hard for me. Because it’s going to get me to grow and change and actually write for once in my life. And because it’s going to teach me some valuable lessons on writing that I maybe haven’t thought of before.
So here’s the start of a really long writing year–because if I want to be a writer, I actually have to write, instead of just sit here telling myself I’m going to write.