After many attempts of starting a blog which I ended up abandoning, I promised myself that I wouldn’t write again. But just like the other promises I made, I am breaking my pledge to give this–this thing–one more try.
My interest in writing started ever since I realized that I cannot draw anything better than stick figures and outlines. Writing was the only way I know when it comes to playing out my imagination (before I started playing The Sims games) without being seen by anyone else and expressing my thoughts without getting interrupted. When I started writing I did not want to be read–I just wanted to write.
When 9-year-old me started my mystery novel inspired by the Nancy Drew series and starring me and my childhood best friend but using different silly names, I found joy in the experience. Of course, being 9 years old, I had a lot of room for improvement in storytelling. For one, my only description of the setting–from what I remember–has a few words: “Inside Romania and Lasagna’s house…” Also, I was too lazy to form paragraphs, so I wrote (words not exact to the original story) in this format:
There was a knock on the door.
Romania: China, please get the door!
China rushes to the door and opens it, and then a tired-looking woman stumbles inside.
Woman: (While trying to catch her breath) Please…help me!
Without describing my characters in detail and instead focusing on the action, I kept this story going until one day my dad found my legal pad–on which I wrote my “novel”, read it, and returned it to me, saying that I write well and that I should keep going. While any child would have felt pride hearing such compliment, I felt the opposite–I felt ashamed for not hiding my legal pad well enough. I also felt ashamed because even though I enjoyed writing my story, I thought it was horrible. It was far from the Nancy Drew novels I read, and I wanted to write one as good as the series. So I threw away my legal pad along with my writings on it.
As I grew up, I started craving for attention. Perhaps this was because of my home life, when after 7 years of being my parents’ only child I suddenly had a baby brother with whom I had to share my parents’ love. While my mom and dad did their best in treating us and loving us equally, I had a hard time adjusting to sharing things with my brother and I used to always see him as a competition. Still going through this attention-seeking phase at 11 years old, I tried to join our school paper’s staff by writing a feature article about a past event in the campus. Back then, I had a little understanding of what a feature article is and I guess my piece was boring, so it was no surprise that I did not make the cut. However, what really hurt me back then was that I tried out with some of my friends and they were all picked. Thinking that I will never be as good as them, I stopped writing for fun and only wrote essays when required in school. My insecurity also kept me from sharing with my friends.
Comparing myself to other people was one of my biggest mistakes growing up. While it is good to be aware of what people around me are doing and what they are good at, I saw them as threats instead of a source for inspiration. I let myself be intimidated by my friends’ talents, causing myself to give up before I even started trying. Instead of working to be better, I stopped making an effort and just settled for the “this will do” version.
I do admit that I only had this epiphany recently, when, after a long time of trying NOT to write, I finally gave in. Because the more I thought about not writing, the more I wanted to do it. The more I feel scared of becoming vulnerable, of sharing something too personal, of actually being read by somebody and be criticized (I don’t know which is worse: a stranger or someone who knows me personally), the more I want to start a blog.
It’s not that I want to be read–I actually stopped minding it. While I do still worry about what others would think, I do not want to make that an excuse to not try blogging again. I miss having a writing space that I could also use as a venue to share my thoughts and interact with someone who took time to read and comment on what I wrote–if there is one. So here it is.