(Re)writing down the bones

Recently, I came across old pieces of my writing from high school.

But instead of shrinking back a cringefest, I was mildly surprised at the level of writing I was putting out.

Even more so, I was surprised at how out of practice I am now. And how much that kind of hurts me.

I’ve forgotten how much I’ve enjoyed writing, and it’s a shame that I’ve let things fall by the wayside for years.

Many times I’ve tried to pick things back up, to observe and then put something into writing.

But the thing is, I’m always so afraid—afraid that what I put down into writing is just a shadow of what I used to be able to do and that that badness would be permanent.

All I want is to be able to express myself, to put into words these strange musings and quirks that float about in my head so that I can make some sense of them.

So that I can feel like I belong in this world of ours.

It’s a strange feeling when I travel.

When I have a moment to think about how different everything is from what it’s like at home, I also have this wave of nostalgia hit me. And just like that, even places that are so overwhelmingly unfamiliar become a little more known, a little friendlier to my brain.

I don’t know if I want to be a writer—at least, not in the sense of being someone who solely writes for a living. But I do want to be able to touch people with the things I write, to make them feel the tug on their heart strings, the weight in their gut, the bubbling laughter threatening to burst as they press their lips together in futility.

I’ve forgotten how it feels to sit down, to give myself the space to just write. And write. Without the barriers that I set in this busy brain of mine.

And when I finally give myself that space and just go with the flow, it’s a nice feeling. I feel both at ease and energized to be able to put thoughts—feelings—into writing.

But I also know I need some validation (from myself, mainly) to feel like what I’m writing is worth it.

I write for myself, but I also want to write for others. I think that’s just something I have to contend with, which I think is partly why I actually like marketing for what it is—if you’re not giving people value or if you can’t value something for yourself, then what is the point?

I want to write. I want to go back to talking to myself, having conversations between these fictional people who I try to breathe life into. I want to go back to fictionalizing things, to imagining scenarios both likely and unlikely, for the sake of letting my brain flex what it does best: unraveling all the possibilities.

There’s a joy in knowing that writing can bring so much possibility with little consequence. But also SO much consequence, if we let it.

I want to go back to writing as a way to give myself permission to choose.

I choose the fate of the story.

I choose how characters develop and grow, or how they hurt themselves and others.

It’s a strong feeling, and yet at the same time, it’s an unruly feeling because I don’t feel like it’s my right.

But as a writer, that decisiveness is expected. It’s needed in order to begin, continue, and finish a story.

...I think it’s time for me to get back into writing. I have so many story ideas, some of which I’ve started but never finished. I think they’re due for their endings.

Main image by Otto Norin.