“It’s funny how you always have books in your hands, but you never have the desire to write yourself.”
This was something my father mentioned to me over dinner one day. We were sitting across from each other in a shady diner that sold just about anything you could think of. This was before I had began college and we were just talking about living arrangements and such.
I’m sure I had dropped my cheeseburger when he said that to me. “Never having the desire to write myself?” I thought of these words and silently rolled them around my tongue. Contemplating a response to this statement without seeming snarky or weak.
Truth was, at this point I already had about 200 handwritten pages for a book I had started two years ago. But as my schooling continued, the book lost plot and substance, and quantity became more important than quality. There was also another factor that prevented me from shining the limelight on my nurtured baby of two years; I hadn’t come up with an ending.
Like all things life and book related, I had an issue with closure. The perfect book had to have the perfect ending, one that was clever and impressive for a child my age. But I never seemed to think of one, and truth is, I had never dedicated myself to one particular set of writing that I could finish. My mind would start turning new ideas in a frenzy that I would be itching to write down. New characters, new plots, new story lines, but never an ending.
Think got me thinking as to why this was. Was there something utterly wrong with my thought process that I could never think of an ending to satisfy my hopes and desires? And right then and there I decided that I needed to expand my writing capabilities. I would write the perfect book, and I would be published one day.
My beginning was blogging. In the past year or so, I have had multiple blogs. I was never satisfied with the words I would produce on a page. My thoughts were too fast for my fingers to keep up, leaving my audience with inadequate sentences. And that’s how I felt about my capabilities as a writer; they were inadequate.
Never will I see the day where I can write as aggressively confident as Richard Wright, or as mesmerizing as Edgar Allen Poe. Never will I be able to describe the scenery of an area and create a whole entirely new world like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. This was something I had to come to terms with in order to move forward in my teachings. I simply could never write like these astounding authors, because I was not them. Teaching myself that everyone is different, even in their writing, was the hardest to come to terms with. I want to write like these men who are idolized by fellow authors, but they are not me, and I am not them.
There is one thing I can do, however, and that is write. No matter the lack of plot in my stories, or the lack of complexity in my blog posts, I am a writer and that is what I will do. My anxiety of criticism has kept me in a box of my own misery for too long. My own father did not know I was a writer, and I can only blame myself for letting him truly believe that. I read because I love books, I love feeling the very essence of the authors between the pages. I love the libraries, with their stacks of books crowding every wall. There is so much knowledge there, so much to be learned by me. That is what I yearn for the most, to learn and to grow.
Am I the best of the best? Not by a long shot, but I will do what I will. I cannot fully put what I am feeling down on a page, and I cannot capture a single moment in all its delicacy in the most perfect manner. But I am raw, and I and willing to be molded into something much greater than I can perceive. And that is why I am here blogging, it is not because of the publicity or the fun, it is because this is the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.