(My struggle to get out of my own way and write)
I wish I could write. Of course, I can write, but what I mean is to write like the great novelists; the Bronte sisters, Harper Lee or James Joyce. To craft a fabulous story that everyone will want to read is my dream.
I have tried countless times; bits and pieces here and there, creative writing courses and a half-hearted attempt at a novel. My biggest problem is not the writing, but myself. I have this constant argument between my head and my heart. My heart longs for creative expression through writing but my head constantly tells me that no one in their right mind would want to read anything I have to write.
So it’s not the writing, but the bolstering of my self-esteem and confidence which needs to be worked on. Once the doubts are given an airing they stamp all over my tentative writing attempts and then I am back to square one. I do wonder sometimes if I am somewhat mad, or deluded even.
I suppose I do harbour secret fantasies about becoming a best-selling author whose books are turned into movies. Of course, this puts me under enormous pressure straight away. My God, millions of people are going to read my stories therefore my writing must be perfect. You see, I am deluded! But on a more serious note what is this constant nagging voice telling me to write? Do other people have that?
I create stories all the time in my head but when it comes time to commit them to paper, more often than not, they lie crumpled on the floor. I think in all the creative writing courses I’ve attended, they always missed the most important point. Yes, it is important to be aufait with the basic tools of writing; grammar and punctuation, to dot the I’s and cross the t’s.
Of course you need to know how to develop a character and make a story believable. But a writer needs more than that. They need time, space, solitude and above all else, to believe in themselves. If I am to be a writer I need to worry less about emulating those fabulous authors I mentioned earlier.
Yes, I will still admire their work but I will let go of that intimidating voice in my head which tells me to give up the dream, because I will never be as good as them. I’ve realised I will show up for myself and commit my thoughts and ideas to paper. It may not be perfect, or for that matter any good in another’s eyes, but it will be mine and at least I can say I tried. Isn’t that all any of us can do?