As the wise fish Dory said in Finding Nemo— “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”
My paranoia keeps insisting that I return to my previously written articles and rewrite or scrap them. The writing is embarrassing. I’ve changed my mind. I really would have preferred them to be written this way instead. They are far to aggressive.
But I think I am going to refuse. Certainly those complaints might be true. I did originally mean for this blog to be used differently and that certainly does affect my first few articles.
Nonetheless, we are always learning and always improving, or at least should be, so if I’m going to edit the first few articles now, then I’ll always be editing them later.
Over the course of the last few months I have started writing multiple fantasy stories. Each story I would spend some time on developing the world, the plot, and the characters before I eventually ran across a road block of some sort. Of course I would search for a solution, but between being lazy, learning, and desiring to tell another story; I kept abandoning these projects.
I felt nervous, I still do, that if I continue as I am, as I was, then I would never account for anything. I would end up like Leonardo, though perhaps less talented, around his midlife crisis having started many things but having accomplished nothing. Unsatisfied despite his potential, his talent, his genius. Having nothing to show for all his years.
So I started writing Vale. Vale started as an idea, shocker that, and I practically halted it there. Vale has nearly no world building, nearly no story plans, and nearly no end game. I do not believe Vale will ever come to be a great story filled with potential, unfortunately, and I am tempted to drop Vale and simply start fresh in a new world that could have more promise.
But Vale is accomplishing exactly what I had intended of it.
I wanted to start writing. I wanted to start practicing story telling. I wanted to prove to myself that I could write and that I could stick with a project. I wanted Vale to be a base upon which I could build myself up on and prepare for the next story I will write that will be better.
So even though I am tempted to drop Vale and start anew, I am going to stick with Vale as a learning process. Of course I will do my best to make Vale entertaining and enjoyable, and I hope that some will come to enjoy the characters however few.
I am going to continue running ahead with Vale.
And this philosophy affects my other articles. I itch to rewrite them but I am going to refuse. They will document some of my beliefs, some of my ideas, of when I was only eighteen. Perhaps I will return to the topics and write a new article on them someday, but for now I am going to continue on.
If I insist on perfection I am going to be stuck rewriting the same things for all eternity and I do not want that. I desire to grow, to account for something, to produce stories and ideas.
So I must continue on as flawed and imperfect as I am now, trying to account for something however ignorant I might be. Even if it means embarrassing myself on occasion.
My parents, physical therapists, always suggested I become an optometrist. I reflected upon careers for a long time until I agreed with them. Thus when I entered college I immediately signed up for a bunch of science classes. When I told the few I knew there my schedule, they all looked at me as if I was a dead man. Thankfully I have always been good at school and I managed all my classes with relative ease though they still took hours and hours of my time.
Nonetheless, probably near the end of second quarter, I remember waking up to my alarm clock blarring loudly at only three or four in the morning the day of an anatomy and physiology test. I remember shuffling out of my warm bed, quietly putting on some clothes, and then sitting uncomfortably in the cold, dark hall until I needed to get ready for my first class. I recall throughout it all one question begging on my mind—why am I doing this?
Then another class assigned a long essay. I remember eating cereal in the morning and then eating cereal at night, taking a shower with only frigid water while the man in the next stall over sang and his dirty water pooled over my feet. I remember then writing for many hours and turning in the dozen sheets only to have them be graded a few days after with but a ninety-seven out of a hundred marked on the front and nothing else. All that work, all that research, and it’s just ignored? Forgotten to a pile of fifty other same assignments?
Why bother? The torture, the effort we go through, ninety hour weeks, all for a little slip of paper at the end called a degree for a job I increasingly don’t want? For years my work has been meaningless. I am ready for meaningful labor. I am going to do something meaningful.
When my high school english teacher asked us to journal about things we dreamt of doing, I always included writing a novel on my list. She said it was a good idea. But I had always listened to the whispers of society, of my parents, of the expectations on my shoulders and brushed writing off as a dream that I’d never fulfill. Becoming an author is unrealistic they’d say.
So for now, for probably the first time in my life, I am saying no to that realism and chasing after my dream with all that I have. I am going to become an author. I’m not saying might, unless I learn in the process that writing isn’t for me which is not the same as failure. I am going to become an author. I am not going to abandon my attempts. If I foster self-doubt then I will surely fail so instead I am going to run ahead recklessly chasing my dream.
Because I want to write.
Of course I have a lot to learn. My writing is bad. I have no practice telling stories. I lack self-confidence.
So over the course of this next year I want to focus on learning these things. Surely they will not come easy nor will they come fast, but as I make mistakes and stumble over myself, I hope to catch glimpses of them and learn. Please excuse the mistakes I will make.
This is all to say that I am going to become an author though I know I have far to go. I will make mistakes, I will be ignorant of many things, I will at times be naive; but I am choosing to do so because I have a dream that I want to chase and I only know how to chase it if I am not to preoccupied with looking back.
In other news, I wonder if anyone will ever read these posts. I suppose it doesn’t matter much. I need the practice writing and these essays help me organize my thoughts. That in itself is worth every hour I spend here.
Also, I am somewhat hesitant to post this. I do not like revealing too much of myself nor of my emotions, I don’t think people need to see that stuff, but I feel it is necessary to say that my opinions will change, adapt, evolve and so will my writing. Nonetheless, I do not intend to go back and delete these old posts simply for these reasons. My posts will not be perfect and I will not be completely knowledgable about everything I write about, but how else will I learn?