Hello dear readers,
About two or three years ago I wrote an article called ‘On Writing‘, Where I expressed how and why I write: because it was natural inclination for me, and also was a way of becoming better according to what I wanted to be and become. It seems to me that while rereading this I do still agree with myself, but I do also miss out some major matters which are essential to my own writing and the personal reasons why I do write. More so now than ever before.
So, why is it that I do write? Well, when I begin to think about this I do get lost and can’t actually figure out why. I simply do write. Then I ask myself, well I must enjoy it then or have some deep seated desire to write. Well, not really. I rarely enjoy the act of writing. It is usually painful to me. I comb over my grammatically incorrect and fast scribbled ideas and have to recast them into a form which is readable, and even then I am rarely satisfied with myself. I do occasionally write something that makes me feel proud, or at least like I haven’t wasted my time, for example my short story ‘To try again‘. I only wrote this a few weeks ago, and I am actually satisfied with it. It expressed what I wished to express and I think I did a decent job in my style and expression. Although I wouldn’t say I am happy with it, but if someone showed interest in my writing I would send them that first in order to show them how and what I write.
But, as I said, this is rare for me. Writing is time consuming, makes me moody, melancholic, and overly reflective to a point of navel-gazing. This makes my writing process more a pain, than a joy. Even when I finish writing something, I feel I could do better and thus never get a feeling of reward or completion that most writers speak of when they complete a novel and a piece of work they have poured themselves into.
I also feel the exact same way about exercise, which I try to spend about the same amount of time on as I do writing. While exercising it is painful, time and energy consuming, and doesn’t make me feel good, but I find it easier to figure out why I exercise than why I write. Because it is a struggle. That is exactly why I exercise. And when I think about this and apply it to my writing it seems to be true of my writing too. I struggle to write. It doesn’t come naturally to me to write well, I have to go over and over my writing and reform many words and sentences. For me, editing is one of the most excruciatingly boring and painful things I can ever do to myself. I often struggle with tenses, as I express myself through someone else’s eyes and the eyes of the narrator I often mix up the tenses and describe things in two tenses in one sentence, which makes it unreadable and hard to follow the narrative. This requires me to heavily reread everything and correct entire sentences to be consistent. However, I am a natural writer in the sense that I don’t have to force myself to sit and write, I find myself doing it regardless of my feelings. Sometimes I skip meals, socialising with my girlfriend, or even completely ignore her because I am writing. I often feel like I am spying on myself doing something by impulse or instinct. So while I naturally write, the art of writing is not natural to me. The art of getting lost in myself seems to be the most natural of what I do when I write. Which probably just asserts the fact that I myself am a confusing person, even to myself!
I am naturally a reader and a writer. I will write and read about anything, but my impulse to read and write is more towards reading, and when I do read, I am far more naturally talented at absorbing the text, than creating one myself. When I do write about my reading, I am usually far clearer than when I write my own things. In this way I am a naturally talented reader, or a writer about reading, rather than a writer in itself. So, if asked ‘are you a writer?’, I would awkwardly say yes, rather than confidently assert the fact that I do indeed write.
What I have found as I have grown up as a person and as a writer, is that I enjoy the struggle. I don’t get joy from it, but the struggle produces something which keeps me struggling on. Like when you are lifting weights and think to yourself ‘I bet I can’t even manage five more reps.’, so you do exactly that, struggling through each one and having larger gaps between each rep, but still finishing what you said you couldn’t. And what do I get from that? Not joy, that is for sure. But, I also get a sense of self which allows me to carry on snowballing and as the saying goes: carry on carrying on.
When I sit down to write, success is not my aim, but the struggle of being in the process of writing. The product matters, but the process is where I get to be me in the most raw and real of ways. When I am done I fade back into the background and wish to assert myself again through the struggling process. To write and to struggle is what I do it for, and to write, for me, is to struggle. To struggle with myself, my emotions, with the world, trying to make sense of the world and myself. This struggle allows me to grow, the writing is the vessel through which I grow within, while the struggle and suffering of doing what doesn’t come naturally is how I grow and outgrow my vessel and become more of the me that I wish to be. My writing is not me knowing how to write, knowing me, or even knowing at all. My writing is me acting, and within that acting I am me, and acting upon the world and myself, in order to push myself forward into a more refined version of the man I wish to be. If my writing is a door, the struggle of the act of writing is the key that allows me to enter through the door and actually write well, and get better.
Thank you for reading,
All of the best and my kindest of regards,