There’s a German saying that goes: “No master has ever fallen from heaven”.
That is very true for a lot of things. It is also true for writing.
365 days is a long time. In some ways, it seems like it was only yesterday that I wrote down my little list of new year’s resolutions for 2018, one of them being to write every single day of the year and to post something of it on this blog every week.
Now, 365 days later I am proud to say that the last line of my post announcing this turned out to be redundant (“Wish me luck (and plz don’t come sprinkling salt into my wounds with this, should I not make it thx“))
I made it.
The reason why I had decided to do this was not a personal vendetta, nothing to do with me wanting to prove to myself that I can commit to new year’s resolutions. The aim of this was simply to get myself writing again. For a long time, everything I wrote seemed stale to me, or pretentious, or I would sit down in front of a blank page and not one single idea would form in my head, nothing, not a word.
It was easy to blame it on my studies, on not having enough time, on not being inspired. The simple truth of it is: I was scared of writing because it all seemed not good enough and I was waiting for the perfect idea to magically appear in my head, fully formed, so I just stopped trying at all.
These 365 days have helped me to overcome that fear, to write recklessly and regardless of initial doubt, to write without knowing where it’ll go from the start. If something is bad, so what? I can write something better the next day. But maybe a thought will have formed while writing, or I discovered one beautiful new phrase, or one new character took shape in my head and I’ll use it for my next short story.
No master has ever fallen from heaven; writing is not something that comes easy, I had to learn this anew. When I was younger, writing was the easiest thing in the world. I wrote because I needed the stories that I was writing and the only reason for my endless scribbling was the happiness it gave me, the happiness that came with conjuring up these worlds and adventures and people, and imagining myself right in the middle of it. But as I got older, writing suddenly became something heavier, something more refined and stubborn, and a wariness of judgment and my own deficiencies crept in. The simple joy of inventing stories wasn’t enough anymore, I wanted to write as beautifully and truthfully as my favourite authors. If someone would have asked me a year ago: “If you could choose to write like someone, who would you pick?”, I would have said something like ‘Ian McEwan’ in a heartbeat.
Today I would say ‘myself’.
Not because I’m particularly good, or particularly interesting, but just because no one can tell the stories that I find within me, in just the way that I can.
And that’s all I ever truly want.
Thank you to every single person who has taken the time to read some of these stories, to talk to me about some of them, to encourage me and give me their opinion.
Knowing that there is someone on the other side who cares about the things I write has made it infinitely more beautiful for me.