I find it harder and harder to face up to my inner thoughts and emotions whenever I sit down to blog these days. It’s not the first time I’ve said it, and it probably won’t be the last.
I think back to the days when I first began blogging, way back when I was a student. I can’t recall exactly when I started being serious about blogging, but I gather it was around my second year of university.
Looking back now, I honestly don’t remember a huge chunk of what I had written, but some recurring topics do come to mind as I reflect on that season of my life.
Loneliness. Angst. Melancholic contemplations. Poetry. Elusive posts which sketch the stories of unrequited love (for which I took great pains in order to disguise the identity of the object of my affection, lest he should read any of my posts and discover, to his horror, that a moody, broody girl like me had indeed fallen hard for him).
If there was such a thing as serial blogging, perhaps I would fit the category. Aside from my regular blog which I’d faithfully fill with frequent posts, I also set up several other blogs. Some were for specific purposes (like the one I set up just for a Nanowrimo novel that I was working on) while others were just to vent (I once had an anonymous blog where I wrote to my heart’s content about several injustices in my life).
I even created one to write about things I learned on the job while I was a programmer. It was partly to serve as a public reminder of the knowledge I had gained, but I had also hoped that others might benefit from my efforts.
What a haphazard and somewhat crazy time it was then. I wrote as I pleased, with no qualms about choice of topics or words (within the limits of decency and the confines of my Christian faith, of course).
But now… how I hesitate to put words to the screen. Or even to paper. What has happened? I feel ashamed to be a writer by profession, yet be unable to write sincerely and without the feeling of being restrained.
It’s not even because I desire to broach sensitive or even controversial topics. In fact, being the peacemaker that I am, I would rather not, as I would prefer to dwell on common threads instead of points for discord.
It is just simply the fact that I keep somewhat self-censoring what I want to say. Sometimes for fear of being labelled boring. Or due to worries that I may be misunderstood or judged for my opinions and feelings.
In so doing, I am slowly finding that I have shackled myself. Whatever ounce of creativity I had has vanished into a self-inflicted dungeon of despair.
Sometimes I blame it on my career. In the pursuit of the facts and figures that a good journalistic article requires, I get the notion that I have forgotten how to daydream, how to whip up ridiculous yet intriguing fiction from the depths of my imagination.
I feel shallow as a writer now. Like I’ve lost my soul. The very essence and heartbeat that I believe is necessary to write good prose.
To be honest, I am somewhat disappointed. While I do a job that I love every day, I find that I have allowed my writing output to be dictated by deadlines and KPIs.
I started wanting… dreaming of writing from the heart with the ambition of entertaining and, if I’m lucky enough, even inspiring a reader or two. But have I deviated from that course?
There are so many battles to be fought out there and many have clamoured for my attention. As they say, the pen is mightier than the sword, so surely that brands us writers as warriors of some sort.
But what am i fighting for? Must I even engage in wars of any sort? Can I not just find a cosy little corner and tuck myself away there to write as I please?
These are things that keep me silent when I could be speaking. Awake when I should be sleeping.
I want to say things that matter, words that are worth their weight in gold, that have the power to turn hearts of stone to flesh and bring life where death had before resided. And so I hesitate and wait for that immaculate moment where words in my head string together into neat, little sentences and clear purpose bleeds into the rhymes and metaphors that I craft.
And in my foolishness, I let the stories I could be writing lie abandoned and wasted while time marches on without any promise of second chances.
I still wrestle with these things. I hope someday there will come a resolution.