Here I am at my computer again. Cramped between my bed and my wardrobe in the middle of winter. Fingers already cold from typing…well, not much at all. The heater does nothing to warm up even a small room like mine. But these are insignificant problems. Feeling pissed off at my boyfriend is also insignificant, even if what he’s doing is reminding me of an ex who I didn’t care about nearly as much as I care about him. But I won’t get into personal matters such as these right now. What really troubles me is how all of these “insignificant” things are hindering my writing abilities – or so I tell myself.
More often than not thoughts beginning with “I suck” fill my mind when I think about writing. It’s inescapable. Whatever stories I envision in my mind I can never quite get them on paper. Like the ink disappears before it reaches the page. In my stories I ramble through actions and conversations and relationships as if the readers will understand exactly what’s really going on in my mind. It never comes through. And it sucks. My own insecurities at writing means that I don’t write as much as I should, and consequently I suck the more I don’t write. It’s a vicious cycle.
You all know the story, you’ve probably all heard it before. But here’s mine:
I didn’t really like books much until I was nine. Sure, I’d read all the children’s books like The Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are and Green Eggs and Ham, but whenever I’d look at a novel I’d wrinkle my nose in disgust. Which is exactly what I did when my best friend at the time told me all about the series she was reading. She bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to school one day and I didn’t give the cover a second glance. But it wasn’t long after one of the teachers started reading the first Harry Potter to us during Reading Time that I decided I couldn’t go another day without hearing all about Harry Potter and his friends. It amazed me how someone could write such a fascinating story that was so out of this world. Over the years of reading it I was obsessed, like I know all Potterheads will understand. I developed an enormous crush on Ronald Weasley. I wrote fanfiction. I wanted to be J.K Rowling.
Of course, I read other books too. Enid Blyton, Paul Jennings, R.L Stine were only some of the authors I liked when I was younger. Over the years I have gradually broadened my reading, and started many incomplete novels and short stories. I own countless diaries and books of scribbled poetry. I won the William Barak Story Competition when I was twelve – my biggest achievement as a writer yet – and wrote the script for a school production of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Grade 6. Throughout High School I continued my desire for reading and writing, scoring top marks in English and Literature. There wasn’t anything else I wanted to do in my future, and there still isn’t now. Last year I wrote my first full novel ever. A fantasy that didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but it felt nice to finally complete something. Currently I am taking my Honours year at university, spending my time on a creative piece about technology and Gail Jone’s modernist novel Dreams of Speaking. It’s a project I feel proud of, but often I wonder ‘just what is the purpose of all of this?’
I know in my heart that all I want to do is become a writer. Is it just a pipe dream? I don’t think so. I really want it to happen. I dream of sitting in a nice studio, surrounded by books, notebooks and pens. My computer, or maybe a typewriter for the days I feel inclined to step away from the digital world, in front of me at my desk. I wish endlessly for those days. But more often than not I realise I am doing nothing to make it happen. It makes me feel hopeless.
For the first time in my life so far (granted I am only 22 so perhaps I am just being incredibly impatient with myself and for the future to come) I submitted my short story ‘Hold Your Breath’ to Voiceworks. Of course they rejected it. Even though my boyfriend, who also, among other things, dreams of being a writer, told me it was the best thing I’ve written so far, it still wasn’t good enough. Oh poor me.
What am I doing here? Blabbing away about my life story and my love of writing to whoever will bother to read this. Like anyone would want to read about a girl who wants to write but never does because she’s too caught up feeling sorry for herself in a world where writers just aren’t as appreciated as stockbrokers and nasty politicians.
I might leave this post here for today. I think I’ve typed long enough. Funnily enough, my fingers are feeling quite warm now. Must be the relief of getting some of these nasty thoughts out of my mind.
The future is already here and I better get a move on if I want it to happen.