This is not my first attempt at blogging. This is probably the third time I have considered trying it this year. However, this is the furthest point I’ve actually reached so far. I don’t know why that is. The concept has been very alluring to me for a while now. By that I mean the overall concept of blogging. The writing, the reading, the editing, and then everything being neatly organised with pretty matching colours and the dates all in perfect order. Yes, tempting from all aspects to a slightly distracted perfectionist. Until the procrastinator decides to wake up from her nap and tightens her grip on the diversions again.
I have always loved writing. The way the words just start to flow and then your fingers reach that steady clk-clk-clk-clk rhythm of turning your jumbled mess of thoughts into something that is solid. A sentence or a paragraph or a page. There is something immensely satisfying about seeing the word count travel higher and higher and the cursor move lower and lower down the page. I often have an internal debate about whether seeing the ink spread across a blank sheet of paper is better than its technological substitute. The laptop is usually declared victorious when it comes to the editing and rereading stage of the process. This is when I remember how quickly I tend to write and thus how messy my handwriting becomes as soon as the stream of letters increases and my pen struggles to stay afloat.
Now, this infatuation of mine started by reading. I devoured books at the young age of five or six, and by books I mean novels. I used to be that weird kid who was excited to get homework on my very first day of school. A bossy know-it-all. Learning was an adventure and I found even more of those in my books and used them to escape the harshness of reality. Harry Potter is, and has always been, my first love and the one that started it all. The-boy-who-lived showed me how to navigate the ink and paper world and his mother inspired me to create my own.
Imagine the shock I received when I learned that not all books become published and not all stories are considered to be equal or readable by the public. I also discovered that writing is considered to be an unpredictable and risky profession by my family. That is when the hesitation started. Recall that I am a perfectionist and I tend to be very hard on myself when it comes to doing pretty much anything. My parents have always expected nothing but the best from me and I became terrified of failure and disappointment. Especially in their eyes. Approval and success became my reason for existing.
I dislike trying new things because I am afraid of being bad at it. Whether it’s drawing or ice skating. I’m not a very coordinated person and being a chubby, ginger girl with glasses made my dislike for sports very evident during my school career. Being forced to participate in inter-house athletics, swimming and other forms of humiliation in front of all my peers did not help either. My outcast status seemed to double before my near-sighted-eyes.
I retreated even further behind the pages. Until one day I discovered dance classes and finally enjoyed being active, even if I was still highly uncoordinated. The beauty and discipline (and possibly the apparent trance of the music) made it so much more enjoyable than running after a ball and I love it even if I’m not a prima ballerina. Dance taught me to do something merely because I love it and I don’t necessarily have to be the best at it. Eventually, dance became one of my subjects in Year 10 after transferring to a school that was kinder to the Arts and less sports-crazed. With a bout of determination and the assistance and support of my teachers, my family, and my best friend/dance buddy – I did the impossible. After wanting to quit half way through and being convinced I would fail my final exam, I actually passed it. I just missed my distinction at the end of Year 12, with my lucky number 77 making its appearance once more. Regardless, I loved to dance before that nightmare of an exam and I adore dancing still.
I did it. I finally proved I can do what I love and try new things too. After giving up on piano and art because I judged myself too harshly when I was younger, I finally chose to not give up on something that I love midway. I didn’t need the consent of my marks. I was proud of my efforts before I was judged on them because I was better than who I was the year before, or even the day before that exam. I didn’t abandon it, even though I was scared and lacked confidence in the outcome. I had my own approval and did not need anyone else to tell me that I did a good job to feel that I did…So then why have I been so very reluctant to write?
How can one become a writer if one doesn’t actually write? A conundrum of note… In my head I was a writer. In my little fantasy world I was making up stories and adventures left right and centre. Playing make-believe with magic and dragons wherever I was. They would fade before they were honoured with ink memories and they very rarely made it onto paper. Again I was judging myself too harshly for not being flawless. It would happen once more and I would put my dreams aside. I waited until a school assignment demanded that I write to receive a grade. My pens and countless empty notebooks have continued to gather dust while my characters and tales continue to run amok inside my brain. Until today.
Today I read blog entries from two of my friends, and a few of them brought me to tears. Then I made my decision. Yesterday, on the CD player in the car, an eBook was playing about the power of the mind. The reader said something along the lines of thoughts having the potential to be powerful. Nevertheless, they remain powerless unless they are acted upon. Such a simple notion. Yet I have continued to let my thoughts flit away before my eyes, hundreds upon thousands of ideas and plans, all going to waste. I did not act upon them. I did not release their power. Today I decide to act upon my thoughts and release them. The words want out. Today, I blog.