Real Writing (Johanna – Mia)

I don’t know what to write. No, really – I don’t.

Not because I have no words to say, but rather because I have way too many. Too many feelings kept bottled up inside with no way out. For a self-professed writer, that’s a pretty pathetic way to go.

When I was a little girl, I would always take to writing whenever I was upset, angry or hurt – just poems or short paragraphs scribbled god-knows-where, on whatever piece of paper I could find, then promptly left and forgotten about. These writings may have found their way to the trash right away – I don’t remember. But what I do remember is that, the more words I write, the better I feel in proportion.

As I grew up, I still retained my love for writing, despite becoming increasingly enamored in the field of science, particularly the biomedical sciences and medicine. I would still write – but less often, and only when the “writing” mood struck. Gradually, though, I stopped writing to get things out of my chest – the process just hurt too much, and even though I felt better afterwards, going about the act of putting pen to paper was just far too painful to be worth the lightened mood I would feel afterwards. So, eventually, I stopped writing for the sake of expressing my emotions. Instead, I’d keep them bottled up inside, and away from the surface. I tried so hard to perfect the indifferent and nonchalant mask I would always adopt in these cases. I would withdraw to our backyard terrace and read a good book, or lock myself in my bedroom and watch some mindless television (aka Spongebob Squarepants – no offense, Nickelodeon!) until my indifferent mask is finally securely in place and would not be in danger of slipping the moment I stepped out and rejoined the world. When the internet happened, I would take to watching YouTube videos, or going on Facebook, just to give myself a distraction. Right. I’m pretty sure you get the gist – I stopped writing to express my emotions.

I guess it’s part of my growing up process – and the slow yet painful disappearance of idealism and innocence. The knowledge that no one wants to read 5 paragraphs about one’s current feelings, and that a book is only as good as the number of people who think it is (yes – I am aware that so many people will disagree with me on this). So, I guess I just stopped writing all together.

Yes, I stopped writing. True, I would type down a story now and again, but I never considered that true writing, because true writing is, for me, an expression of my innermost thoughts and desires, fears, hopes and dreams. And I wasn’t doing that. No, I was pitching myself to the public, to my interpretation of what readers would like to read. Much like what Anne Shirley did when she first gave her draft of Kindred Spirits to Jack Garrison in the film adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, actually. Of course, my writings would be considerably less “sensational” than hers (if only I had her writing prowess) – but that is beside the point.

So, honestly, I had no idea what I was thinking, volunteering to write a blog post where the only rule to writing was to express your feelings, and not go about penning some cheesy romance fiction or the like. And yet, as I write this, I can’t help but feel considerably lighter from my troubles. Hmm. Perhaps I will go back to writing – real writing – after all.

P.S. If this piece doesn’t make sense, I apologize – this is what happens when I write the first things on my mind just to get them out of my chest. Hope it wasn’t too bad, though.

One Response to “Real Writing (Johanna – Mia)”

  1. Madeleine Scott says:

    Makes perfect sense, Mia. I think most writers struggle with the feeling that their writing might be incoherent to anyone else but themselves. Perhaps that their feelings are too complex to elucidate aptly or concisely. Sometimes I feel like I have gone off on a tangent that seems pretty pointless. It may sound generic, but keep at it, you’ll get there. Maybe it will offer you a sense of clarity that you need.

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