Won’t Write, Can’t Write and The Chasm In Between
I love to write. Growing up, it was always an outlet for me. As an introvert, it was a way for me to express myself, my thoughts and opinions. I wrote poetry at first, before I was called upon to write copy and prose. I blogged solidly for 8 years, but I stopped after I noticed I only blogged 6 times for an entire year. I always said that in another life, I would’ve took journalism/English in university and it was quite jarring to realize that I totally neglected to write about my life and experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I could’ve been the next great Filipino writer. This is a story about how a skill that came naturally to me became something that I can’t do anymore.
This is really a personal story for me to tell and it’s quite difficult.
Nothing drastic, I just changed as a person. Not overnight, of course. But over the course of 2 years, I found myself evolving into someone different. I was also particularly busy at that time, all too consumed with my goal to finally graduate. I put a lot of things on the back burner and that included blogging.
Back in about 2010 or so, I talked to a friend about writing and blogging in general. He was then a professor at the university, but I was on a leave of absence at the time. We would cross paths again when I became a student but that is neither here nor there. I told him that I used to cultivate the whole “tortured artist” mindset because I thought it made me a better writer. Write about things you know – that’s what they always say. But at that time, all I knew was darkness, loss and grief. My friend told me that that was totally absurd and unhealthy. I should focus more on things that would help me with my craft and how to be better at it, he said.
Everything went well for a while, I did away with the normal crap that I usually espouse and began to write useful things like tutorials, guides and how-tos. I began to write copy for clients too. But just when I was getting into the swing of things, I went back to university and never looked back.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I looked back in regret a couple of times but what’s done is done.
What I did in lieu of
Although I stopped blogging, I still wrote. I wrote philosophy papers, technical documentation for systems, essays for English class and my thesis.
But when it came time to write blogs and articles about things unrelated to school, I drew a blank.
I struggled when I went back to freelancing and was asked if I could write articles for clients, I found myself exasperated at the whole ordeal. It was really hard to write copy and I found myself getting snarky and sarcastic with tone.
So I figured I needed to get over this and start writing again. Now I write about my freelance journey and my web design hurdles that I solve with code. It’s not a smooth process and my writing is still inconsistent.
But I decided not to compare how I used to write before and how I write now. I am a different person and it took quite a lot from me to overcome what I have. If my writing has changed because of that, then so be it.