I like to write. It hasn’t always been the case, I know I hated it at school, having to write an essay of five hundred words or more! Gaah! I wanted to go out and cause some trouble somewhere. I think that as I grew older, ok, a lot older, it became something therapeutic. You can just sit down and write whatever nonsense you want, then tear it up and throw it in the bin.
The internet and blogs have changed all that. There are now millions of us who sit in front of a computer and tap away, revealing thoughts, emotions or, like me, just writing drivel most of the time. You could spend a lifetime reading all the blogs out there. Some will be written well, some not so well and others as if a three year old doberman had been walking over the keyboard! Ok, maybe that was a little unfair. I know most dobermans are more literate than some of the posts out there.
However, credit where credit’s due, they tried. Some are naturally eloquent whilst others have to try hard. I think I am one of the latter. Writing, for me, isn’t easy. It’s not just the distractions, the wandering thoughts and writers block, it’s the actual creation of words in some sort of order and making them interesting to read. For others, they can sit down, distraction free or even with an earthquake around them and create a masterpiece. I wonder if the best selling writers are naturals or people, like me, who struggle to create coherent sentences?
A couple of years ago I became disabled and all the things that I used to enjoy in life were impossible for me to do again. That left a bit of a gap in my lifestyle. Actually a huge gap as I could no longer work, either. So, I am sat at home, depressed, hurting and feeling sorry for myself, wondering what on earth I am going to do for the rest of my life. That’s when it hit me. I can become a world renown, best selling author! It was so simple! I would sit in front of the computer and create a masterpiece in words, the sensation that the English language has been patiently waiting for since the last edition of the Oxford dictionary!
Well, it didn’t happen.
Like that was a surprise!
I started on one piece of fiction and, with a proud flourish, presented it to my mother to proof read. It wasn’t a completed book, just the first couple of chapters. My mum sat down and read it. She then turned to me, as I was waiting expectantly like a new father, and told me that it was too linear. The story was too simplistic and some other things. By this stage I had tuned out and was contemplating art or something.
She was right. After I re-read my supposed masterpiece, I realised that it had been written very poorly and it was extremely linear. It was that simple. Obviously I wasn’t going to be a best selling author overnight. Ok, I was never going to be a best selling author; it’s just not in me. I struggle to write, my imagination is limited at best and my mind has a constant habit of wandering off. I blame the massive amounts of pain killers for that, but who knows!
So, I wasn’t going to write a best selling novel, become rich and famous (or maybe I would have remained mysterious, writing under a nom de plum) and enjoy all the benefits thereof. What else was left?
It was then I realised that I could just write my linear ramblings on a blog! Perfect. Maybe there would be no worldwide recognition as the creator of literature that would wow the masses, but I could still get my work published – sort of. I have dabbled in writing a blog before, but it was sporadic as I was too busy doing other things. Now, however, I have fewer distractions of that nature. The blog was perfect. The chances were that nobody would read my words but I could still enjoy writing them, pretending that people were reading and enjoying my dark wit, subtle style and total lack of modesty.
I have started to write another book. The going is very slow, it’s taken me months to write just 15000 words. My mind still wanders and I am easily distracted. I struggle to put sentences together in a coherent fashion and am seriously considering buying a three year old doberman to do my work for me! But I have the blog and it doesn’t criticize me or make judgments about my writing style. It’s just there and it publishes my ramblings no matter what they say.
I have learned that writing is a gift that we don’t all have. I bow with reverence (if I could bow) to those who struggle to place one word after another and still create something that is worthy of praise. I seethe with envy at those who can sit down and write a bestseller during their afternoon coffee. Finally, I take back all my sarcastic comments of those who have tried, like me, in vain to write something barely legible.
The one thing I think we all have in common, though, is the fact that we enjoy writing, no matter how good or how bad it is. There are an awful lot of us and many of us will never see the creations of others. But I do understand the effort that goes into it and appreciate that words have a habit of not quite saying what you mean. Writing is something we all need to do but those of us who try creative writing must be gluttons for punishment. Writing just ain’t easy!