Have you ever forgotten how to do something that is so engrained in you it’s more second nature than anything? Something you’ve done countless times, for countless years. Something you never thought it was possible to forget.
I’m afraid I have. And what I have forgotten is how to write.
It’s something that has always come easily to me. Whether or not what I wrote was good didn’t especially matter, the important fact was that I could.
When I was little, I would write ridiculous stories that were more my own retelling of whatever book I had read recently than they were original ideas, and of course that was okay. Then, I began to branch off, writing my own stories. For a time, I also had a group of friends who were interested in writing and we would work together on one shared inspiration. I thought writing was fun, a casual hobby I suppose, and that was all.
But, then things changed again. I developed passion. I realized that, upon occasion, I really could write something worth reading. And more than that, I realized that doing so provided a release for me. It was a newfound power, and I embraced it. I wrote every day, and even when the words in no way reflected whatever inner turmoil I faced, I still found what I needed.
It was easy for a time, and I think I let myself get a little too accustomed to that. But, then school was starting and suddenly I had essays to write and assignments in a creative writing class. I had never expected that creative writing would be more of a struggle than math, but it has become just that. I couldn’t will myself to write under the pressure. This wasn’t me writing for my own sake, it was writing for the sake of a good grade.
And I believe that is what has destroyed me.
Of course, even this is an excuse. There are so many who continue to write through situations that I never could, and for that I am truly envious. They have found dedication. I thought I had as well, but the reality is I have not yet found the drive that is needed to truly be a writer. It is work, no matter how good you are, as is true with anything.
But, after years of easy movement forward, I have reached the part of a writer’s path where we are forced to climb. And I am simply not strong enough to continue on.
With that being said, I would like to make it clear that this is not a resignation or an acceptance of defeat. No, this is a reality check.
This is the moment when I acknowledge how blindingly over confident I have been in writing, and accept the fact that I am indeed quite average.
And it is now my choice to do what it takes to find the confidence I deserve, not the one I have been blinded by.