It was raining hard, outside on the suburban streets, and pattering down even louder in the nooks and crannies of my head. I sat slumped, legs crossed, arms folded, and eyes glowering, at the quickly-growing-too-small-home-school desk in the dining room. An empty Word document faced me head on.
I was supposed to be writing a short story for my English 8 online class. I don’t remember there being any requirements beyond that. But still, my mind was completely empty. I had filled a book of poetry last term and written essays galore and of course I’d always dreamed of writing my own novel, but somehow this short story was completely dauntless tonight, as the rain pounded down and down and down on our sturdy roof.
Sometimes I feel like that thirteen-year-old girl again. With the slouched shoulders and pouty face. Eyes hating the world she once loved all for the fact that she cannot make it pretty with her words. A lack of inspiration. A lack of words. And for her, a lack of the fullness of life she so desires.
You see, I’m a writer. I always have been—even as a child before I could print very well I’d think about stories during the day and wait till the pretty privacy of a darkened bedroom to publish them in whispers just loud enough to satisfy my soul. I honestly believe that I always will be a writer, too. But sometimes, writing is hard and the words don’t come for hours or days or even months. Perhaps even years.
That’s OK. You take break. You do other things for a spell and grow in a deeper love for life and people. You find the stories to tell.
But now I’m finding a need for the gentle flow of words to circle from my hands once more. I want my mind to move so quickly with thoughts and dreams and stories that I barely have enough time or hand strength to get them down. I want the impulses to run wild and the words to run fast, the pages going at 100 km/h.
I want it all more than I can say.
Last night, in conversation, some friends my parent’s age asked me what I wanted to write. “Lots of things,” I replied because that’s what’s true.
There are so many things. So many causes and beliefs and characters and stories waiting to be told. So many dreams and wishes and beauties and rainbows to share. So many sorrows and so much injustice and rivers of truth and mountains of ephinay which I can only share and must share, I think, through proclamations of the pen. So much life to unfold from my heart and hands, flowing directly, together, at the same time, in rhythm.
But it’s the rhythm that I lack, sometimes. Often.
I lack the consistency. I defy the rules of grammar. I don’t write every day. And I certainly don’t write perfectly or always on topics that others think I should write about. I’m looking for my own beat, I guess. I always have been.
And I realize suddenly that the desire never left. The fire that once burned with real sparks never does die down.
I’m on a journey to become what I’ve always been. I’m trying to write more and better and fuller. I want to challenge myself and create beauty and learn all at the same time. That is writing to me, at least right now.
I did finish that story, probably at a solemnly late hour no doubt, but finish it I did. I remember it quite well because I wrote about a girl who never knew what to say and in turn wrote a speech about not knowing what to say. How original. Well, that’s what my teacher said.
And she trampled through puddles and hated school, too. Yes, very original, I laughingly tell my thirteen-year-old self, almost seven years later.
But there’s nothing wrong with originality, I also tell myself. It’s good. Beautiful even. Valued.
The challenge to write and know what to say continues. The words will sometimes flow, as they are flowing now, like a waterfall, beautiful, loud, and fast. But sometimes there are rocks and twigs and all sorts of things that get in the way of the falls and slow the rhythm. And that’s OK, too.
I’ll write what I can, when I am able.
These are my words for tonight. These are the ones I could find around 8 PM on a Friday evening near the end of May, after almost a full week’s worth of work and a night full of celebration with friends and a semester made up mostly of hard work and only fractions of success. This is what I found tonight, today, this month, this year.
Yet join me, because the journey’s just not over yet.