I’ve often wondered about the different reasons why people blog. There are some people I know who blog because they want to send their thoughts out into the world, for everyone to read and comment on. Others just want somewhere to release overwhelming emotions to, regardless if people notice or not. As for me, I guess I’m somewhere in the middle. Most of the time I feel like I’m just talking to my Future Self reminding her that Past Self (or this case Present Self) had once had a whole other perspective, felt differently about a person, had a valid reason for a breakdown at some point.
Other times, I actually want people to read what I write. But not just any people. People who are just outside my circle but still within my world. Those who know me enough to trust what I write but to whom I am still a mystery as to not take anything I write too literally or personally. It’s difficult to write for people you are close to, because they often associate the written word to real experiences. And this is my current dilemma. I blog because I want to share my thoughts. But now that I’m trying to write fiction, I can’t actually share it to people and ask them, “Well, how much do I NOT suck?” They will always think what I write is about me and not about anyone else. Yes. I am the Sisyphus of fiction writing.
As fiction writing goes, I am as good at it as Lady Gaga is at being normal. Past attempts at fiction include short stories in both English and Tagalog that are really just glorified rants with dialogue in it. The only time I was published as a creative writer was back in college when the short story I wrote in freshman year (but which I submitted when I was a senior) won first place and was printed in our college literary folio. That was it. The saddest, most ridiculous part was that they spelled my name wrong. As if I can’t be more overlooked, they managed to spell my name incorrectly. It’s like when you meet a friend’s girlfriend for the first time and she tries to undermine you because she thinks you’re secretly going out with your friend and she has a ridiculously low self-esteem and she wants to trample all over you to feel better about herself—she goes, “Hi Roach!”, to which you respond, “Actually it’s ROCH,” and then she smiles at you like you’re absurd and talking gibberish and would you please shut the fuck up already? It’s like that. Winning and then spelling my name wrong. You think you’re liked but not really, you’re too unimportant to have your name remembered correctly.
Creative nonfiction has always been comfortable. It’s a slightly more exciting way of telling your own stories. It’s how I’ve always told stories. It’s how I’ve practiced writing all these years. But now I’m attempting to cross into unfamiliar territory. I know it seems that jumping from creative nonfiction to fiction isn’t a big leap, but for me it is. The difficult part is letting your characters grow and stand on their own, without people associating them to you. I have yet to learn that. In my head, they are already alive, they joke around, they laugh, they fall in love. The challenge is to let them stay that way in other people’s heads, too.
I’ve been blogging for many years, been writing about a lot of stuff, but I want to be a more than a good writer. E.L. James is considered to be a good writer, and she’s a best-selling author. But personally, I think she writes crap. I mean, if Ann Rice’s books were people and they took a dump, that dump would be the Fifty Shades trilogy.
What I want is to actually accomplish something. I want to finish more than a blog post or an essay. I want something that I will be proud of, regardless if people read it or not (of course I would rather they do than don’t, who am I kidding). It would also be awesome if what I write could connect to people in a different way that they connect with me. That’s what I want. That’s why right now, I’m trying something new yet again, even if it’s scary and might just be an impossible goal.
I write simply because I can’t imagine myself not writing and because I don’t think I will ever stop writing. Even if I give up on everything else, I can’t give up writing.