I love to write. I love it so much that I’m extremely particular about what I write, how I write, and when I write. I am often reluctant to write stories because I don’t feel I can do them justice with the meager writing skills I have right now. I get frustrated easily with my writing and constantly feel that there are much better, more creative, more concise ways to express what I am saying and that I just don’t know them. This puts me off writing for a bit until an idea creeps up on me that I can’t just shove away, so I start to write it a little, and then get all discouraged and frustrated again. I feel, somehow, that my ability to express myself is fogged up by...by I don’t know what.
I am great at imagining things. I have a wonderful, vivid imagination and can tell excellent stories off the top of my head. But when it comes to writing them down...I get lost. I mess up. I can’t find the right words. I get annoyed and put it aside and usually never return to it. I have so many half-started stories and almost no completed ones. And it isn’t because I should write. It isn’t because I’m not a writer. I am a writer. If there is one thing I know for certain about myself, it’s that I’m a writer. I was born to write. But how? How do I develop my own style? How do I get better at writing if I keep getting frustrated with myself?
For me, writing is something so personal, it is like revealing my very soul on paper. Especially my stories. Essays, fine. I can show those to people. But stories? Sometimes. It depends to whom. I have so many stories I’m reluctant to share with anyone, even my parents, or maybe especially my parents, because they show a part of my soul, a part of me, that isn’t evident based on my behavior. Even people who know me very well may be surprised by what they find in my writing. A darker side of me comes out in my really serious stuff. Part of why I had such trouble in the fiction writing class I took fall semester of this past year was because I was wary of what I brought in to class. I didn’t want to open myself up to a teacher I barely knew. Barely trusted. And not to the students, either. I was scared. I was hiding myself behind lighter works, funnier stories. Stories that only skimmed the surface of what I can do, that only revealed a tiny glimmer of the huge world that is my imagination. I don’t share my soul willingly.
But if I want to be a writer - a real writer - I have to change all this. And I don’t know how.