So, you’ve always dreamed of writing. Ever since childhood you’ve had the burning desire to, one day, hold in your hands a book with your name on it. You’ve read lots of books from all over the world and closely examined the lives and works of so many published authors. You decided which genre worked for you and you figured out the ones that definitely didn’t. For years you worked on your writing skills; in school, in college, in writing seminars and workshops, and naturally through your constant reading. You wrote texts, essays, papers, projects, articles, reports, reviews, and dissertations, most of them for people who didn’t give a damn about what or how well you wrote, and then, hopefully, also some for those few who actually cared to see you improve and do well in your writing ventures.
Time went by, life happened, writing didn’t put food on the table or pay the bills – for some reason most expected you to write for them for free – so you did the “grown-up” thing and got a “real” job. One of those creativity-killers that sucked the life out of you and had you completely forget who you once were and the fact that, yes, at one point in life you did have hopes and goals. Every once in a while you did find the courage – and time – to unlock your old dreams-chest and pull out that rusty, abandoned writing dream. You’d look at it, turn it over, look at it again, and try to remember what it felt like back then. What if you took another chance at it, you’d ask yourself. You’d pull out a piece of paper and do a bit of writing. You’d taste the excitement. It would go on for a couple of days and you so wished that you’d be able to keep it up and reconcile it with the rest of your life. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and there went the dream, back into its well-known prison once again.
Finally, the day came when you realized – either free-willingly or life forced you to do so the hard way – that this could not go on any longer. It was now or never. You opted for now. For the first time in your existence on this earth, you decided to stand up brave and take your life into your own hands. Your life. Your hands. That simple. Time flies, you don’t get any younger, you would for sure have been happier if you had stuck with writing in the first place. So many thoughts flooding your mind. Now was the time to leave behind anything that wasn’t working and try to make that poor old dream come true.
You set up your work-space, computer, notebooks, pencils, pens, books on writing and all types of other writing tools. All in its rightful place and you’re ready to go.
And now what?
Ideas come and go. Some seem good, some not so much. Others can’t seem to lead anywhere. Or, do they? What should you write about? Why should someone read it? Who would read it? Oh, my, what if nobody likes it? What if nobody even bothers to take one look at it? The fear of failure and rejection starts crawling down your spine, paralyzing you slowly and painfully breaking your heart. Why on earth did you decide to become a writer?
Suddenly your mind travels back to that very first instance in which you realized you wanted to be a writer. The moment when you clearly saw the thought light up in you and inundate you with the desire to write something that would be useful to other people. In a flash, your whole life plays like a movie in front of your eyes and you see all that you’ve learned in all these years, all this time you thought had gone wasted, the experience and wisdom you accumulated, all the things that now you actually have to talk about, the ideas, the discoveries you made, and the answers to so many questions that you came to after years of experimenting with life.
It’s clear once again. Surety and confidence replace your fear. You know what you’re doing. It has had the time to mature in the back of your head and in your soul for long enough. Now it’s just a matter of discipline, hard work, a bit of faith and hopefully a couple of good friends to keep you going when you’re feeling low. Your hands gently touch the keyboard, each finger on the corresponding key. You close your eyes, take a deep breath and let the first sentence flow through you and on to your screen. Your first sentence. Now all you have to do is keep going.
by Melina Stefanidou