Lately, my friends have been telling me that the things I write feel forced. When I’m writing a supposedly fictional scene, the characters feel like bubbles with existential crisis floating in the middle of nowhere, talking to each other like intellectual dweebs.
It hurt. It hurt pretty bad.
However, they say that every cloud has a silver lining.
And so, I backed away from the project I was working on with them. I wasn’t being honest to the story to begin with. I just didn’t want to miss out, because the way they talked about it, it sounded pretty awesome. It still is, and it always will be as long as it has awesome authors like them.
I began writing because there was always this voice at the back of my head. It was loud, yes, but there was no way to get it out of the soundproof barrier that was my head. I began writing because I think I have things worth sharing, things worth letting the world know, knowledge worth spreading, as insignificant as it might be. I began writing because I felt it was my duty to show the world what I’ve learned in the seventeen years that I’ve lived. I still write for that reason.
One would think you can write about pretty much anything and everything. I felt that way too. But it is only now that I realize, I was wrong.
I can only write about things that affect me on a personal level. Perhaps about the things I learned when my parents got divorced? Or when I had to bear the humiliation of the entire class for helping my friend stage a fraud? Yes. If I wrote about these things I would sound sane. And coherent.
When I try to write things that I don’t care about enough to affect my decisions, my writing sounds choppy and forced. One of the reasons some people prefer first-person narration over third-person. In the past few months, I feel like I’ve turned that free voice into a caged bird.
Writing is a craft. To some extent. Before that, it is a form of communication. As Stephen King puts it in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, it is a form of telepathy.
My goal now is to regain that voice at the back of my head. Trying to get it to say things has failed me. I think It’s angry at me.
Why do you write?