Some can pick up a microphone and demonstrate their natural talent for singing.
Others can indicate their affinity for dance as a method of self-expression.
Me? I can sit down for hours and write non-stop.
It is 2:07 AM.
I’ve long accepted that I will probably never end up a singer or a dancer or an artist, simply because of lack of passion. I also can’t draw to save my life nor am I known for being able to bust a move or singing like Beyoncé. We were all meant to express ourselves in some way. I do so through writing.
It is my guiltiest pleasure. I tell people I’m working when really, there’s an open Word Doc or loose-leaf paper I’m hiding somewhere on my desk, or on my desktop.
Since I was small, I’ve always loved the way words were able to completely capture an emotion or a moment in time and how I could create my own movie in my head, imagining it perfectly clearly.
I love the way words can be strung together to give hope. I like an abundance of words. If I were ever a lyricist then my songs would be hours long because I can’t quite capture emotions or portray a scene or make a point in five minutes like some song-writers can.
I hate the way words can be spun to hurt feelings. The wonder of technology these days has brought about international forums where cruel words can be amplified, can be distorted and manipulated to destroy a confidence, and ruin a day. Some people don’t mean it. But if they really didn’t mean it, they wouldn’t publicize it for the whole world to see. There’s a difference between ranting privately into a password-locked Tumblr and writing mercilessly on a public blog. There now exists a fine line between the two, as internet hackers and digital footprints have become more prevalent.
I really like quotes. I often take interesting quotes and expound on them in my own words, in a larger and less-restricted format.
I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m rather introverted. I certainly can spend time with a bunch of other people but I feel most comfortable with a few close friends or by myself. I’m not the best at group projects and I hate playing in teams. That’s why I was best at running cross country and playing singles tennis.
Writing is for the brave and revolutionary, especially in this day and age. As previously mentioned, global networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress allow messages to proliferate instantaneously and all over the world. For some, writing is a method to have a voice and make a difference.
But in another way, writing is also for the weak and cowardly. We (writers) often do not like to and have not adequately learned to confront our problems head on. Whether it is for an audience of zero or one thousand, we hide our emotions and whatever we are most scared to say behind aliases and vague descriptions.
Writers are thinkers. I don’t post random rants on my blog without re-reading and revising my words. I want to make sure I mean exactly what I post, and that whatever I do post is the best version of my opinionated articulation. My thoughts are refined into a clear message with adequate elaboration.
Writers certainly don’t publish everything that they write. I’m not always proud of the things that I write, nor do I always believe everything that I write. There’s a difference between writing what I know and writing the truth. No one knows the entire truth. What no one seems to understand is that what distinguishes different writers is their different perspectives. It sets one person apart from another. Some of the best pieces of writing are produced in the heat of the moment, when someone is high off of adrenaline. We might call this fiction. Other great pieces are written when a person is overwhelmed with emotion, when the most earth-shatteringly accurate details emerge.
Sometimes, writers come up out of hiding when the household is quiet, at 2 AM. The lamp clicks on and we grab an old fashioned pen and paper and scrawl illegibly, as we continue to drift in and out of a stupor of exhaustion. But we must stay up, to capture the firefly thoughts that won’t be as genuine in the morning. We might use short hand and incomplete sentences. But the ideas are there, on the paper.
In my opinion, there are two general types of literature, with their own respective subcategories: fiction and non-fiction.
We generally wish for happy endings. No matter how many hardships the characters have to endure, it seems like they always end up in a good place; this represents hope to the readers. Fiction writers are skilled at writing what they do not know. I am not a fiction writer, nor will I ever be. I cannot tell a story that I don’t know. I cannot create a character that can speak to a reader and emotionalize them the way many other people can.
Yet, I still love to read fiction more than anything else. Through fairy tales and teen romance novels and the like, I am able to exercise my creativity and build my vocabulary. I can keep my imagination alive and quench my thirst for hope and longing. Even if you don’t have any substantial problems in reality to escape from, we all want to escape the imperfect world we live in. For lots of people, fiction can silence outside surroundings better than high quality headphones or earplugs ever will. Fiction presents hope to a reader in a way that I find, non-fiction cannot. I get lost in these impossible situations and become a fiction addict. I can read for hours and hours upon end, ignoring a sore neck or aching eyes. I generally try to limit how many books I read, because I know I will become accustomed to life in an alternate dimension, where I am not myself and my name is not Catherine.
But then there’s non-fiction.
It is now 2:33 AM.
I know only of biographies and encyclopedias, but I am slowly warming up to the concept of newspaper publications that are relevant to the current day and age, from a global perspective. Exposure to these sorts of breaking news and screaming headlines present an overall better view of the world and the life that we live in.
I like to write opinionated non-fiction. The best writing advice that I’ve ever received was this: write what you know.
I am not here to tell you how to live your life or judge you from a perspective so limited it’s ridiculous. I write only what I know (or think I know). From experience and long reflection period, I take my thoughts and organize them coherently, and publish them on a blog. I write from the perspective of an Asian, 16-year-old girl that understands the multiple stereotypes going against me. I understand the pressures and expectations of college and academics. I know what it is like to do something you don’t love. I know what is like to grow up in the age of technological advancement, where new developments like the internet and texting differentiate us from our parents.
I’ve always tried to write fiction in the past because I thought that I could perfectly emulate my favorite novels, pulling plots and story lines. But it never happened, because I realized two things:
1. Imagination is not my strong suit.
2. The way I approached writing fiction was not genuine.
Thus, I am not destined to be a fiction writer. I gave up on that dream because I realized I was too immature and dispassionate about the idea as a whole.
I read before I wrote. Writing has helped me discover the world, and opening my eyes up to reality has allowed me to understand the insignificance of me compared to the billions of people inhabiting the earth.
English teachers should be more broad and vague when they assign essays. “Here is a general topic, now please provide your view. Of course, to prepare you for college and whatnot, you will be required to cite, but my mind is open to new ideas.” If anyone ever received this prompt, I am certain they would be much more likely to develop a fervor for writing, surpassing the typical threshold expected of a student.
Writers are introverts, but that is just a generalization. Non-fiction writers might have their own unspoken philosophy and try to prevent others from altering their views because they don’t want their view of life to become distorted. Philosophy happens best and impacts the greatest amounts of people when spread and preserved through writing.I personally know what if it feels like to over analyze an issue. But it’s different from what we are taught in the classroom, as this is real life, in the real world, where experience guides beliefs and exposure shapes opinions.
Writers are inspired by music. As I sit here, dozing off but jerking away ever few minutes, I listen to a playlist of slow, soft music because I am tired. This music doesn’t distract me; the songs are thought-provoking. They are warm, familiar, and comforting. I often pull lyrics to use as inspiration, and I am able to get more of my thoughts down on paper.
Starting this blog has been one of the smartest decisions I ever made.