Emily: On Writing

Yesterday at lunch, my friend Allie challenged me to write her a character description and send it to her by next week. I am longing to get myself really back into writing, but I find that instead of sitting down and focusing, I allow myself to binge watch Netflix and Hulu. Not the healthiest habit.

I have been struggling with finding a direction for several years: I don’t know if I want to focus on fiction or try my hand at non-fiction/personal essays. I read my friend Jenna’s blog and long for her frankness and raw talent, and I talk to Allie about her novel and find that I am jealous of her ability to write more than a few paragraphs. I honestly wonder if I am really a writer, or just someone who used to be a writer and now have lofty, whispers of a dream left. Then I think about phrase like “whispers of a dream” and think, hey that’s not half bad, maybe I am a writer.

Sometimes I want to write about my past, about my high school and college boyfriends (I wanted to use the word lover here, but it felt insincere – it’s not a word I normally use to describe any aspect of my life) and about how I was feeling and what inappropriate or ridiculous things I was doing at the time. But I also want my husband to read and want to read my writing, and I don’t think he would be comfortable with these essays.

Hm, this seems like the perfect opportunity to write about myself and my past life in fictional form… Maybe I am on to something.

But I am impatient. I want to be at the middle of the story before I even begin; I want my characters to be perfectly developed without me having to try. That’s not how it works and I know that. Another reason I fear I may not really be a writer. And maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m just a really good reader.

I am going to take Allie’s challenge, and if I like what I write, I will post it here as well. Maybe. Maybe I will keep my character to me and Allie only, until it’s ready to go out on its own into the world. I don’t really know, but I hope this challenge brings me back into something that I was once incredibly passionate about, back to something that many people expected to me pursue as a career. Back to what used to be part of who I was.


One thought on “Emily: On Writing

  1. I still feel this way, I don’t think it ever leaves, that sense of being an imposter. But what feels more fake to me is the voice in my head that says “you’ll never really be a writer.” Because I already am. And so are you. That voice is laden with so much baggage of what it “means” to be a “real writer” and you know what, f- that voice! Write on your own terms. When you want to, when you can. And when it feels right and important enough to keep going, you will. xo

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