The trouble with writing is writing itself. It’s a push and pull with words that carry weight in our daily lives. They carry weight for the reader, the writer, and the writer’s ego (if they find themselves receiving more rejection letters from literary journals than acceptances). It’s extremely subjective, and sometimes that’s the trouble too.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve expressed myself through writing. I used to keep a box at the top of my closet that held letters I never intended to deliver. Each page was a confession of how I was feeling in that particular moment, and why I couldn’t bare to express those words verbally. It was a way for me to be completely honest with myself and not have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings, or putting myself in a vulnerable position that I would have to deal with afterward.
I remember being very young, reading book after book, writing paper after paper and actually enjoying the process. My mother always told me she could see me being a writer someday. Maybe it was an act of rebellion, but when I graduated high school I decided to go to college for Business Administration . . . and then Elementary Education, and then Nursing, and then Ultrasound Technology, right back to Elementary Education, and then (finally) English.
After about 15 years of taking one or two classes at a time, I landed right back where I knew I should’ve been all along–Writing. I started this blog two years ago, I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in English/Creative Writing last August, and I started an online literary journal with a college friend and one of our Professors a few months ago. I also began submitting my own work to different literary journals, only to receive rejection after rejection. It’s a bit discouraging. I’ve found myself questioning if my writing is good enough. If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t written anything besides movie and concert reviews since I graduated five months ago. I just haven’t had the nerve to write something that someone might think is shit. But, then I observe this internal struggle where I question why the quality of my work depends on some stranger reading it in the first place. Surely someone out there would think my poems were worth publishing, right? It’s happened once before. Plus, after reading Stephen King’s On Writing, I learned that he also received rejection after rejection in his early days, and look where he is now.
I was planning on getting my teaching certificate so I could at least do something related to my degree, but the truth is I don’t want to be a teacher. I want to write. I want to start my own magazine. I want to write about entertainment in ways that don’t involve where celebrities shop, or where to buy their expensive bags and shoes that most of us can’t afford, or that they’re “just like us” because they go grocery shopping. That’s not news and, quite frankly, it’s a waste of entertainment journalism.
In an attempt to get some more practice, I’ll use the Blog category here to post the letters that would have been stored in that box in the top of my closet all those years ago. An honest look at what makes me tick, what makes my heart skip a beat, how I’m feeling that day, etc. I’ll chronicle my journey towards whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing with my talent, my degree and my life in general.