Recently, I joined this organisation where I help to write anime reviewing articles. They claim to be this cool start up where hopefully this is something we can do for a living. Honestly, would I like that sort of living? I’m not sure but I thought to myself, since I like anime, it’s something I could try.
I am slightly beginning to feel that this organisation and I aren’t going to work out.
Why do I say that?
Well, my writing is not for hire. I do not write in order to please people. Hence, I do not give a damn if my style isn’t “accurate” or “formal”. When I write, I write for myself first. I write to express myself. The reason why I write is because I have a lot on my mind.
Writing is something very sacred to me. So don’t blame me if I hold on tight to it and act defensive about it.
You have to understand that when I was younger, I felt that I shouldn’t write because I wasn’t an author. And even if I wrote, I was no one. I was nothing.
I understand that my writing as a child was shallow and lacked a lot of things. But one time, as a child, I was told that I shouldn’t write because it was bad. And ever since then, I stopped. I would write bits and pieces here and there from time to time. But I didn’t allow myself to write because I wasn’t a “writer”.
Then, I entered high school. I watched a girl who wrote despite being bad at it. I watched a girl who wrote because she loved it. She didn’t care if she was good in the craft. What mattered was that she worked on it. What mattered was that she enjoyed it. She admitted that she wasn’t good. But what I admired about her was that she wrote despite people saying it sucked. I actually asked her why she wrote even though so many people told her not to since she sucked.
I will never forget her reply. She looked at me, straight in the eye and said, “Because I enjoy it. It’s fun.”
It didn’t matter to her that people told her she sucked. She wrote because she enjoyed it. True, she admitted she was no good in it but what mattered was that she enjoyed herself. It was her craft, she said. She was a writer because she enjoyed writing. It was as simple as that.
Because of her bravery, I told myself, there is no excuse for me to not write. So I started writing, despite all my fears and insecurities. I think the worst part of insecurities is the fact that, you can hear their voices in your head. The voices of others, telling you that you suck and that you should stop.
But I chose to write despite my fear. And funnily enough, although I wasn’t good at it, I found that I didn’t care about that. What I cared about was how to build my characters and world. What I love was trying to express my soul in words. It felt like painting but with words. And I became very good friends with that girl. We both wrote together and created a world where the words of outsider can’t hurt us.
When it comes to writing, my only regret is starting so late. I wished I started earlier. I wished I honed it. Any mastery of a skill comes from practice.
My writing back then was absolutely horrible. If I were to read it today, I would definitely be cringing the entire time. But as all craft, there will always be a time where you are horrible at it. Despite many of those works are crap, I am proud of them because it was an experimental age where I was still trying to find my style and voice in writing.
I tried to follow many writing advice. From writing less to show and not tell. I found that only one advice truly worked.
And it was a simple advice. It was practice.
Because styles will differ. Some will write with bombastic words and superfluous sentences. While some will write short simple sentences. Some will paint great images with sensations.
You just got to find the style that fits you or the story at that time.
Because if there are bestselling books where there is no proper grammar or sentences or even where pages are cut to create a sense of realism, it only shows that there is no “rule of thumb”.
Just remember to learn your grammar. Figure out what you want to portray in your writing. And then just go with that.
One day, with enough practice, the words will flow from your fingers like it does for me. I wouldn’t say that writing has always been easy for me all the time. That’s not true. Sometimes, words get stuck or I can’t seem to find the right word or right way to phrase it.
Hence, when someone comes up to me from the organisation to tell me that, they can help me with my writing, it makes me laugh. Because I know they can’t help me.
Because to help me write better is to understand my reason for writing.
Although that reason is simple which is, to express myself.
It also means that I won’t listen to “technical” advice. Why?
Because I refuse to be boxed in. I refuse to follow “the right way” to write because I believe there is none.
Trust me, I have done my years of practice and following the “right way” to write.
But I’m done with that.
If Picasso took a lifetime to draw how he wants to draw and not follow the “conventional” school ways, so can I.
Although I want to improve in my writing, it has to be done my way.
This is why I can never be a journalist or a columnist that has to adhere to a certain way of writing.
Free style isn’t always good. It’s a mess. It can be all over the place. It can be contradicting.
But I hate it when people say that.
Because as humans, we are a mess. We contradict ourselves all the time. We say things that we don’t mean sometimes. Sometimes we are harsh. Sometimes we are kind. We are dynamic and ever evolving.
And as a writer, I want my writing to be as honest as I am.
I want it to be real and raw.
As much as I want my words to be beautiful, I do not want to hide up all the things that makes us human.
I write because I want to express the things that people don’t want to see or rarely see because the world likes to hide it.
And that’s the mess that we all make as humans.
And as any artist, we will try to make this mess as beautiful as we can. But I want people to see it nonetheless.
So no. I can’t be boxed up with my writing. And I won’t be.
And if the organisation can’t deal with that, I will just leave.
After all, being a writer is the part where my soul is free. Hence, I am not afraid. Even if no one reads my words, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, I wrote it and it’s out there for those who wants to see and listen.