Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it. (from Blogging101).
I’m combining that with an assignment from English Composition II on coursera. I’m not submitting the assignments, because I don’t have the time to keep up with it right now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t write at least part of it. The assignment there is:
Who I Am as a Writer with a Cause: An Autobiographical Narrative.
I don’t really have a cause, so I’ll leave that part out, but I can write a bit about what writing means to me. And since this is quite personal, this is also new for this blog, so the Blogging 101 requirement would be met, too, I suppose.
Dear Dream Reader,
I wonder why you visit my blog?
Asking this question reveals the extent of my insecurity as a writer. Am I a writer? Why do I write? I have nothing to say. My writing sucks. My English is not good enough. I’m boring. I’m… Whine, whine, whine…
Are you bored yet? When I was a child, my escape from the world was reading. I taught myself to read when I was five, and from then on I could live in dreams when reality didn’t look so good. Inevitably, many passionate readers I know think about writing their own story from time to time, and so did I. I wrote little stories, but never quite finished them. I drew and wrote a comic, but stopped eventually because I found it silly. Of course I did, I had moved from child to teenager.
Creative writing at school wasn’t really encouraged, not at my time, not where I went to school. Going to the library became unpleasant since the librarian was a literary snob and continuously talked me out of reading the books I wanted to read and gave me books I found endlessly boring. But friends had books, too, so we had a lively exchange going on. What does that have to do with my writing, you ask?
Well, it instilled in me a sense of what ‘good books’ are, and ‘unworthy books’, ‘crap’. Unfortunately, I liked to read crap. I read and loved most of the good books, too, but I read almost everything I could get my hands on. There was no internet back then, you know? But writing, that would mean, in my mind, that you had to have a mission, something you had to give to the world to enlighten it, to produce literature. And this is definitely not something I have in me.
Later, being more exposed to more worldly places and less arrogant people, my view on the whole thing relaxed. By now I find that entertainment is just as important as enlightenment and I still read what I want. But why do I write?
I write, because I have story ideas in my head and I tried to tell those to someone who could write well. “Write it yourself,” she said. “I have ideas of my own, I don’t want to write other people’s ideas.” Sigh…
And so I started writing. I wrote stories for Dungeons and Dragons because my friends and I found that the commercial stories were not always logical and lacked originality. Later I wrote fan fiction for several fandoms, with moderate success. I wrote what I would like to read in these fandoms. I still felt inadequate, because my writing neither is funny, nor ‘light-handed’. I’m pretty good at inventing good plots, though. In the fandoms, I encountered praise, but also criticism, sometimes justified, sometimes not. Why is it that criticism always weighs heavier than praise?
Over time, my ideas went beyond fandoms. I found out that writing original characters and world building is a lot harder than it looks when you play in someone else’s playground. I shared some of my ideas with a friend, even wrote a first draft in NaNoWriMo… and it was such crap that I let the idea rest for a while. But I love writing. It gives me the creative outlet I need. I’m not good at drawing, painting, crafting… I love to do it, but I’m just not that good at it. Writing gives me some amazing moments. Sometimes I’m so tired that I fall asleep and when I jolt awake again, I find that I wrote a few interesting sentences that I can’t remember having written at all. I call it my creative subconscious.
I’ve decided that I need more confidence in English and writing, and so I looked for courses and found online courses that help. I still am not convinced that I can do it, but I keep trying. After all:
And now please give me that publishing contract.
GaH, the wannabe writer