For the Love of Writing

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For the love of writing, I die.

It happens like this. When I’m in the middle of watching a great movie or reading an awesome book or when it’s freaking 2AM and I just wanted to drink a glass of water, suddenly there’s this inner voice that calls me to write. It’s a voice you do not dare to  ignore. It is both sweet and haunting. This isn’t a joke. And this isn’t crazy. If you write, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So I grab my laptop or a piece of paper and a pen (whatever’s more convenient) and I try to extract all the ideas in my brain. And just when I’m about to scribble or type the words, POOF! The seemingly good thought disassembles into random words and punctuation marks and they’re all floating in my head, teasing me, challenging me to chase them. And I do chase them. While others are easy to catch, the others play an awful game of hide-and-seek. They hide in the darkest, dustiest corners of my mind which I never knew existed. By the time I retrieve those playful naughty words, they have already changed. Somehow they have transformed into something else as if an irreversible chemical reaction took place.

When that happens, I just try to make the most out of what I have. Finding the words is already one tough job. What more is to make sense out of them. A word becomes a phrase; a phrase becomes an sentence; sentence becomes a paragraph; a paragraph becomes a complete work. I hope it’s as easy as that. But it isn’t. It is never as simple as it seems.

What lies in between the single word and the complete work is self-doubt. This is an undeniable truth. Is there a better metaphor? Am I using accurate and precise adjectives? Is it better in past tense? Did I use unnecessary cliche? Would my readers like this? The mind-wrecking writing process comes to this point of judgment when it must be decided whether it is good enough or not. Sometimes it’s a yes while other times it’s a no.

We keep on thinking that our greatest work is ahead of us. But what if it’s behind us? What if our greatest work is that story we never finished writing, that original poem we revised for the hundredth time, that idea on a crumpled sheet of paper which landed on the trash bin? What if our greatest work is the one we took for granted?

I wish I could write and just write more. I wish I could write more and care less. Care less about the rules, care less about what others have to say, care less about my own judgments. But that isn’t what writing is all about, is it? To truly love writing is to embrace the suffering it entails and to use that suffering to your advantage. And that’s what I’m going to do.

For the love of writing I die. But this death translates to a creation of not only a written masterpiece but also a creation of hope and a better self.

For the love of writing, I live.

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