A good book belittles you. It makes you feel small, insignificant in front of a pen and paper, your only companion the ideas bouncing off in your head. Because when you read a good book, you realize you are no match for bigger, better writers. Look at Chimamanda. Or Ngugi wa Thion’go. They have a midas touch with words while you, well you just have a lot of words. This was something I got once from reading an article about writers block.
See, writing is a seductress. A toxic ex you just keep going back to. And I would assume the same for other forms of creativity but see, I’ve never made a pot in my life. Or made a world class painting Van Gogh style. Speaking of Van Gogh, I’ve been interested in his life a bit over the past few days. I guess a sadistic part of me is a bit interested in knowing about this tortured yet creative genius who cut of his ear and drank yellow paint. A suffering genius of art if you would.
But I digress. I meant to write about writing. Of the little reward it gives you. Of the sleepless nights of trying to form perfect sentenses and prose, filtering out words and adding others. Reading and rereading your work and finding it lacking. Of millions of drafts hidden from prying eyes and of constant self doubt. Of reading previous works only to cringe. Of seeing your writing voice change and not know what it is changing into. So many times I want to stop. Put an end to this and do something else. Like start a YouTube channel, or a TikTok account and dance my way to moolah and fame. Or lipsync. Or other things people do on the internet. But then in the spirit of an old flame I come back to words. I come back to trying to be a wordsmith, to write my first ten thousand and see if I can measure up.
You must be thinking, for how long does she plan on moaning about this writing thing? You either write or you don’t write. Serious writers don’t write about writing. They are doers not dreamers. So I’ll save you this stretched out torture.
And I’ll continue thinking about a good book. One that belittles you. One that makes you feel small and insignificant as you stand in awe of words written by people greater than you. People who feel like their minds are made of galaxies. But then in a small flicker of fighting spirit you take a pen and start this writing thing again. You take the plunge again not knowing if this time you will sink. Because you know it’s a part of you, and it will always call you back into it’s familiar arms.