What if I’m happy? Can I still write?

Lately, I have been struggling with this question. If I’m truly happy, can I still continue writing and find enough emotion behind my stories? I could coldly divide us writers into two groups: those whose texts are pure emotion and those whose texts tell more structured well-thought stories. I know, I know, this is a total generalization but let’s all believe it for a moment for the sake of my point in this post.

I’m one of the emotional writers. When I pick up my pen and start writing, only feelings came out to the paper. That’s why I – like most emotion writers – can’t grasp the skill of novel-making. My texts are short descriptions of the world like I see it, poems. I hate poetry but it’s the only thing I can write. I know because people keep telling me that after reading the mess I call poetry. My feelings awake feelings in others.

So, what happens after my feelings are gone? What if I only have happiness, positive energy and will to keep living my current life? Until now for years my writings have been full of depression, sadness and dying a little bit every day because my life will never be as I have dreamed of. It has never necessarily been me feeling that bad inside but rather just a small unpleasant feeling of being utterly lost giving strength to those negative thoughts while writing. Now I’m finding myself.

Not everyone who writes can understand this. I would hope that no one else except me can understand but unfortunately, that’s not true. You don’t necessarily have to be in the same situation as me: finding yourself after being lost for years. This feeling I’m currently stuck with comes from writer’s life changing so tragically that they will get scared of this sudden change affecting their writing. The nightmare of any writer is losing their own voice or skill to put words on the paper.

Now we know what I’m scared of – my life changing and me losing all the emotions shining through my writing. I’m scared of losing my own style and skills to write. It’s not just my problem. For romance writers, this might be from losing their trust to love or getting divorced. For horror writers, not being scared of anything anymore. And for poets, losing their sight of this world. For a moment all of us will feel like everything is falling down. What will we be without our skills to write?

I started this article by talking about two types of writers, storytellers and feeling sharers, so you are probably already wondering where was I going with that. My writing style is purely emotional. It has always been but it may not continue like that forever. Last months I have been scared but that also means realizing new truths of my own life. I can write. Listen to me if you are a writer in the same situation as me: YOU CAN WRITE. That’s it, so simple.

Losing my emotions or my writing style changing doesn’t mean
that I will lose my skills to write.

Right now I’m an emotional writer who has always dreamed of writing her own novel or longer stories with real plot and fantasy. For some reason, all I can come up are the short poems. Where will it take me when I lose my style to write through emotions? Towards the storyteller end of this writer spectrum.

I still have all the writing skills and beautiful words inside me. I know what works and what not while writing. All I need to write is inside me ready to come out of my pen. The only things missing are the endless emotions that made my texts so short and hard to read. After I learn how to structure a plot, I’m left with all the skills and willpower to write longer books full of stories.

Maybe change isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it may take us towards something even better or at least newer routes to conquer. As writers, no one can take away our skills to show emotions and tell stories. Whatever happens, my mind will always grave for writing and I won’t allow myself to be scared anymore.

What would it matter if my writing style changed?
I will just change along and create something new and even better.

Does this make any sense for you? Or have you ever been scared of losing your own voice? Like always all comments are more than welcome!

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure.
Continue to reach out.
– Benjamin Franklin

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Deceitful writing inspiration

We’re all looking for inspiration. We listen to the conversations strangers have behind us in a bus and we keep glancing longingly the couple living in their own world next to us in that small cafe we escape to write. Inspiration. So many ways to find it, so many ways to use it. And still, during the most radical moment, there is nothing. No inspiration, no ideas, no memories of those soothing moments of collecting new stories. 

When you open my computer, it’s easy to identify me as a writer (or crazy delusional collector). My bookmarks are like an endless maze of folders after folders. Some named reasonably like “romance”, “scary” and “villains” while some just won’t make sense for anyone else expect me “umbrellas”, “kill my heart”, “flower field boys” and “cats with wings”. I keep saving new tabs every day because the idea has been for years to print some of the photos and texts saved in my maze of writing inspiration. After that, I could easily make stories using them. Guess how often I do this printing… Never.

Inspiration.

The word alone sounds something magical. If you have the inspiration to write, you will have all the possibilities ahead of you. I dare to claim this as a lie. Inspiration is a good tool for everyone who wants to write but it’s also one of the biggest traps set for us. Those who cling to inspiration for their dear life will never get anything done. They will never finish any written work. Inspiration is intoxicating and perfect. It keeps your head in the clouds but won’t let your feet touch the ground and that’s the problem.

Writing is a hard work. It takes time, willpower and everything you are ready to give for it. If you are not careful (or if you are ready to lose yourself), writing can take your whole life from you. And so keeping your feet on the ground is essential for being a writer. If you start daydreaming about new stories or someday publishing your own book while staring the white paper and pen waiting for you on the table, you never get anywhere. You will never start writing.

Inspiration is like a shovel in writer’s hand. You can build amazing castles, cities and fantasy lands with it. If you keep shoveling to the same pile over and over again, these worlds will keep growing towards a full-length story. But without a plan and determination to build that one amazing fantasy land, this shovel of writing inspiration will be your curse. You can shovel quicker than when throwing every idea into the same pile but in the end, you won’t build anything. You will just dig deeper and deeper hole for yourself trying to find new ideas all the time. Pick one idea, give your everything for it.

I’m too familiar with the curse called inspiration. I love searching for new photos and quotes to add my collection of inspiration. Then I start a new project so excitedly and thinking “This is it! I have finally found my story.”  just to give up writing it after a few pages. I find something more exciting, more interesting and above all more inspiring.

One of the most popular reasons people don’t write is because they don’t have the inspiration right now. They can’t write because they aren’t inspired to do it. If you wait for the right moment and that never-ending inspiration, you will never write more than a few pages. You have to force yourself. It will suck. You will be in pain staring that white paper screaming at you to just give up, just to continue tomorrow, next week or maybe never. The inspiration will never strike at the right time. You will be on the busy morning bus going to work or having fun with your friends on movies.

“I will write this down when I get back to home. Tonight I will keep writing because I finally have inspiration.” And then you go home hours later but like always your mind is as blank as the paper.

This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn about writing and being a writer. I’m still trying to find the right way to beat this. The right way to tame my inspiration. But telling everyone to just pick that one story is a lot easier said than done. My inspiration is fighting back and trying to lure me into the wrong paths.

Is your inspiration as badass, distracting and evil as mine? Or am I the only writer who struggles to live with this thing called too huge imagination. Shouldn’t it be my biggest asset as a writer not that never-ending barrier between me and my dreams? 

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
– Vincent van Gogh

I am writer!

I am a writer!

You have to say it out loud, write it every day, tell it to strangers in a bus and for your family who keeps judging you constantly. You have to shout it out loud in the middle of the night even if it means waking up the innocent neighbors. Every morning right after waking up whisper those four magical words ten times. Sooner or later it will become the truth. This is the most important lesson I have learned during the last three months.

I have always been a writer. In primary school, I struggled when we started to learn writing and reading.  It was easy for everyone else but I just couldn’t do it. I was one of the last people in my class who passed the reading test. After I got a hold of the writing nothing was stopping me. My parents put me on weekly writing club and I attended there for seven years. Writing become my passion.

Then I went to high school. I was too old for the writing club and my school days lasted from early morning until late evening. There was not enough time for writing my own stories when I had to do the essential school projects. My mind was lost but I kept going.

Years went by, I graduated from high school, took a year off from school, started my travel blog and applied to study business in university. I wrote when I had time but it felt just so useless. Painful even. Creative writing was my thing but it would never be my future, right?

Last spring everything changed quickly. My blog was growing and I was starting to make some money as a freelance writer. My free time was filled with me writing everything and anything all the time. Then one afternoon in school our teacher asked the important question that was going to change everything. In fact, that question is the reason I decided to drop out from my university and pursue writing as a possible career option.

“What is the one thing that you are good at?”

I didn’t have to think. My thing was writing, it had always been. When it was my turn to answer, I told that exact thing for an auditorium full of people. I am good at writing. Six months later that short sentence changed to even shorter and life-changing one: I am a writer. I had dropped out of my business studies and found out that you can study creative writing in Finnish open university as major even if you can’t do that in normal university.

After starting really my creative writing studies and after getting hooked on writing guides for the first time in my life, I quickly noticed that everyone was telling me to start from an easy task to become a real writer. Say it to yourself: I am a writer. Not a good writer, not a bad writer, just a writer. Anyone can be a writer as long as they have notebook and pen, computer or just phone. It starts with telling it to yourself and everyone around you. I am a writer. I will keep writing. This is what I want to do and so I will keep trying as long as it takes.

That’s why I started this new blog as part of my daily blogging challenge 2018. I want to scream it for everyone who has the patience to listen to me. I am a writer. Can you hear me? Writer. Someone who writes. That person you can see writing in cafes, sitting on park bench with a notebook or scribbling to her phone in full bus. I’m a blogger who will be happy as long as she can keep writing for the rest of her life.

I am a writer.

With love,

Lost Viivi