I remember when I first started writing. I was eleven and to say I wasn’t very good at it, would be a major understatement. I would stare off into space imagining scenarios and dialogue, trying to piece together what was running through my mind faster than I could process. My mom used to tell me to stop “cracking my brain” and I still wonder how managed to make thinking sound like such a awful thing to do.
I remember having all these different plots and characters swimming my brain with nowhere to go. I wasn’t good enough at the time to effectively put them on paper, so I practiced. I would write on anything i could find, paper, napkins, homework… Before I knew it, I could type about as fast as I could think – with tons of typos, but still.
Along the way, my mother stopped bothering me about staring off into space – her defense being “at least I wasn’t cutting myself or getting a boyfriend like others in my age group.
As I grew older, however, things changed. My high expectations for my future choked the happiness out of writing. Instead of stories, I wrote research papers and essays. I didn’t want to write anymore. I didn’t want to be smarter than everyone in my year. I didn’t want to become some big name academic, but writing for fun was never an option.
Now… with time on my hands, I finally get to relax and sit by the keyboard. I am astonished by the emptiness that is my mind.
Where did it all go?
Where are my stories?
Where is the fun?
I don’t know.