And I write about love

I think I have been in love once in my life. You know when your heart beats too fast in their company, every thought just comes back to that one person and nothing can stop you from writing a million love poems for no one to read. I have been in love but the two of us never dated. I was too shy to share my feelings and nothing never came out of it. Later on, I have been asked on dates for a few occasions but nothing has never come out of it.

Can you see my problem?

How can one write about love, romance and the difficulties of dating without any prior experience? Could someone maybe write authors’ guide to love and dating for those who suck at the feelings and the cliches? Just saying that guides like that would be really useful for us who have gotten all their proper dating knowledge from books, movies, and TV series.

It’s hard to write about love. And not only for the big elephant in this room aka me not having any experience. It’s difficult because I always return to the feelings I have had, romances that might have happened and stories that I wish were my own. At first, this may sound okay. If the feelings are my own, the stories will seem more authentic. There are two reasons why I struggle with this.

My stories are repeating again and again. Liking your friend, snarky comments between the two protagonists, hidden feelings, and either super sad or overly sappy ending. The characters I write and who fall in love follow always the same pattern. I write perfect fairytale love interests who are badass, look cool, have a heart bigger than most people and are ready to change their life for the protagonist. It sounds good but after you have drawers full of similar perfect boys it gets boring.

The second problem has more to do with the fact that I don’t have enough experience of a real-world dating. Do you know how hard it’s to write a movie theater date knowing you have never done it yourself? I can do the writing part – mostly because I’m a romantic soul who has read too many romance novels – but at the same time I feel like a fraud. You could compare it to being a lawyer without ever studying law. Or at least in my head, you can.

I’m struggling and still, the worst thing is that this all is just in my head. Yep. The first (or hundredth) rule of trying to be a full-time writer: It’s all in your head. My mind is stuck to the memories I have. If I just got over them, writing anything else would be possible. Being fraud is just one of the clever ways my mind tries to make me stop writing. After starting my studies towards a creative writing university degree I have met a lot of writers. One thing seems to be common with most of us. We all feel like frauds who just try to write.

Someday I’m going to write a real romance but before that happens… Could anyone share with me how it feels to kiss in rain? No? Okay, what about fighting about missing toothbrushes or disappearing chocolate bars? Even as single I don’t exactly grave for romance but having real knowledge of these things would be really helpful while writing!

“It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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Too young and too old to write

Should you write a memoir or autobiography? I’m 22 (and half) years old girl with nothing extraordinary to share with the world and still I had to answer this questions last weekend. Attending to university writing course and being the youngest there has its pros and cons. My views are fresh and ideas hopefully give something new to the fellow writers learning tricks and secrets of writing with me. But average age being 40 or over also means that I’m often left wondering if a person can be too young to be a writer.

Let’s talk about the 80s. I’m quiet because I wasn’t even born. 22 years. How could you write memories or share wise thoughts without enough experience in living? In fact, maybe writing anything is impossible. Maybe I should get a real job, write alone at home and wait ten more years before showing anyone my stories. It’s easy to sink to the despair. 

Maybe I’m too old. How could I start writing in my fifties? I have never traveled the world so there’s no way I can write a love story happening in Paris. Writing is impossible. No matter how old you’re, where you are from or what you have experienced. Writing is impossible and still, somehow so many people seem to be able to do it.

Did you know that many of the famous or not so famous writers have probably been a lot older, younger or middle-aged than you would guess! For making us all feel better (or even worse) here is a small list of writers and their ages:

  • Christopher Paolini, the author of fantasy series Eragon (one of my all-time favorite books having cool dragons), published the first book of Eragon when he was only 18 years old.
  • Stephen King published his first book Carrie at the age of 27 and his breakthrough book The Shining at the age of 30.
  • Haruki Murakami was 38 when he published his famous and also second book Norwegian Wood.
  • E. L. James became famous after publishing her first novel Fifty Shades of Grey that made us all gasp from horror or desire when she was 48 years old.
  • C. S. Lewis had written several books during his life but published the first novel of a world-famous series The Chronicles of Narnia when he was 52 years old.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien was 45 years old when The Hobbit Or There And Back Again book came out but when The Lord of the Rings was published he was already 62 years old.

I could continue the list towards even younger or older writers. Here we aren’t even talking about those people who write their own memoirs or biography. Anyone can start writing. It’s easier when you start at a younger age but isn’t that the case with everything. Writing is also a skill, the longer you practice the better you become. Usually, older writers are ready to give more effort and time to their practice than younger ones so the age doesn’t really matter. If you want to write, just write. Easy, huh?

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
– Sylvia Plath