Sometimes, I wonder what I’m trying to say. All those words I write, all those feelings poured onto the page. What does it all mean ? It feels like I haven’t much to tell. Yet, it also feels like everything is told. Bold or between the lines. It’s there. I use the shapes of words and letters to create a world where I can feel safe. Secure. Loved. Wherever I go, whatever I do, this is home. A house I build all by myself. For myself.
I wrote poems in an old school notebook when I was twelve or thriteen years old but I began journaling when I was about fifteen. It all started in a very basic, spiral-bound notebook. I scrapbooked the cover with band names and lyrics I thought were pretty cool. Inside, photos of said bands and singers, full pages of lyrics too. I was a huge fan of Evanescence back then. Amy Lee’s pictures and songs were everywhere. I carried that journal around sometimes, but, mostly, it stayed in my room, where I was sure no one would peek into it.
That journal knew everything of high school dramas. Of high school joys. Basic teenage years. It learnt about my first crush. Punctuated with names inside hand drawn hearts. First boyfriend. First break-up. Names inside hand drawn broken hearts.
That notebook was the very first I finished without ever ripping one page out of it. Fifteen more followed.
I destroyed all of them.
Somewhere along the way, I became harsh on myself. Reading those journals, I thought I was a pathetic, miserable girl. I couldn’t bear to read the story of everything that went wrong within. Couldn’t bear to see the passage from an innocent, cheerful girl, full of hopes and dreams, to that empty shell I became. I even got rid of novels, poems, short stories, blog posts. Everything I have ever written. The ideas were boring, the writing wasn’t polished enough, there was nothing I could do with any of those, I thought. Besides, I was downsizing. Old journals and stories were useless. They got thrown away during the sixth wave of my minimalism journey.
It did bring me some sort of freedom. The opportunity to start again. Begin with new goals in mind.
I decided I would become a real writer.
Journaling wasn’t real writing. It was just a hobby. I had to learn how to write professionnally. I had to make a career out of it. It was a future. I had to reach for it. I had to succeed. I had to. I started to tell everyone around « I am a writer. » Between twenty-three and twenty-five years old, without any higher education, I felt like a failure. I had to be a writer. I had to be someone. Writing was the only thing I was good at. What else could I do with my life ?
I didn’t reach my own expectations. I failed again and again. I was a writer who wasn’t writing. Scared shitless of not being good enough. Of being mocked if my words dared sound a little dissonant. Scared of putting myself out there. Of sharing what I did. Scared even of putting words on the paper, in case someone found them. Scared of not being educated enough to be considered a real writer. Scared of writing what I wanted to write because it might be considered basic litterature not even worthy of being mentionned in a conversation. Scared of writing what I wanted to write because it might be talked about too much, dissected relentlessly.
The idea of writing as a writer became a nightmare. I kept talking about writing, reading about writing, writing about writing (and my inability to write my own stories). I tried every single advice every books and blogs gave me so I could become better. Focused. I failed to follow them too. All I could do was write in my damn journal for hours.
Then, I read about how personal success isn’t dependant on financial success. Social status doesn’t define who I really am. I met God. Learnt creativity and spirituality are one and the same. It’s a process that cannot be rushed. It has to be felt inside. It has to come from love. I ended up taking an important decision.
I stopped calling myself a writer.
I decided writing in my journal was enough. I decided I would write for my own pleasure first. Exactly the way I used to write when I started that first journal. When I wrote that first fantasy novel almost nobody knows about except my high school friends who read it because they were characters in the book (and so was I). I decided I wouldn’t write thinking of being published. I would just write thinking about what I love. And I would share it.
I stopped writing for a living. I started living as a writer.
Home is where you can hear your own heartbeat slow down, knowing you are safe. Home is where you feel call back to, through Heaven and Hell. Home is this place where dreams are dreamt and hope lives. Writing is my home. Wherever I am, whatever I do, however I feel, at the end of the day, this is where I come back to. And it always welcomes me back, with love and a warm embrace.
I still don’t know what I mean when I write and share my stories. I just know they mean something to me. And that’s good enough. I’m good enough.
I’m good enough.