On Resisting Writing

We all have heard philosophers, our family, our friends and our parents forewarning us not to waste our time and to never leave anything till tomorrow which you can do today… But I tend to put writing off. Why? If I had to guess I’ll say it is fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of making the right decision, fear of disappointment and because I have acquaintances that believe I’m wasting my time. I have to tell you, for me to be able to write a page on any of my books or this blog I have to hide! Ha-ha…

I’m working on three books and a YA mysteries series and some other ideas I get while I’m not writing. However I have to put them off because I have to conceal them from some close people. They think I’m wasting precious time. What’s peculiar is that I learned how to read short stories when I was four years old but took me a long time to learn how to write. Maybe because my thumb insisted to be in my mouth, he-he…Anyway, let me tell you a little bit more. 

I learned how to read at an early age since our house was full of my mother’s younger siblings. I used to sit and watch them as they practiced their lessons and letters. I was tested to enroll in kindergarten at a Catholic school (Nuns, priests and all. It was a musty, gray convent dating back to the 1700’s) and was placed in first grade instead. Needless to say I failed because of my inability to want to learn how to write. Subsequently I had to repeat first grade. In my country after junior high you can go to school and become a teacher of any kind, an accountant, a bilingual secretary, a nurse, an architect drafter or get a bachelor’s in liberal arts or a bachelor in science and letters. After you completed a three year degree (teaching or accounting) or a two year bachelor’s you could go to a University and obtain a degree in Medicine, Law, become a CPA, PhDs etc. In other words by age eighteen you have a degree under your belt and could pursue a masters. Nonetheless, I learnt to write and started writing short stories and small plays in elementary school and through junior high.  At age fourteen I decided to become a Kindergarten Teacher. The college was a girl’s only Catholic school (I heard is coed now). That didn’t go well. Here is why. At the end of the first year you are placed in a class with sixty children and you are expected to put to practice what you learned during the short year. The experience was terrifying and I decided I was not ready to teach children that young. I learned how to play a Scottish pipe bag there thought :) 

I changed my major to a Bachelor’s in Sciences and Letters. I enjoyed that but it was short lived. A violent civil war in my country made my parents decide to send my sisters and me to study in another country. One by one we were sent to live with one of my aunts. My older sister was first. A year later two cousins and I followed, my younger sister a year later. I finished a year of my Bachelors’ degree and then was sent away. Here I was downgraded to tenth grade in high school. I cried. “But this is where the movie Grease was filmed” my relatives would tell me in regards to the high school I was attending. I didn’t care. I was about to graduate in my country. Time passed and I can tell you I did enjoy my time at that high school. Yet, I didn’t graduate there. I eventually did but sadly not there. Why am I telling you this? Well, I’m getting there. Pardon me, I tend to deviate.

When you were little and you believed in fables and fairy tales and fantasized about what your life would be, did you ever stop and think what if you were wrong? Probably not.  Most of us believed Santa Claus delivered toys flying across the sky in a sled pulled by reindeer. Well we have to make mistakes, see for ourselves and learn from our own lessons. This doesn’t mean sweeping under the rug the fantasies and fairy tales that you believed as a child or the fantasy you believed as a kid your life would be. Or to stop believing in your knight with shiny armor carrying you away to a magnificent castle or that the tooth fairy will bring you a coin in exchange for your tooth, or that if you look up at the tallest building you’ll see Spider man or Batman watching over the city. That is why we get lost in books and or writing and won’t forget about those feisty philosophers or our parents reminding us to go get the worm and seize the day. Still I resisted writing. Now I feel different. Follow your dreams and don’t put things off. Fantasize, dream… And even thought you eventually grow up, we have books to help us keep the little child inside entertained and sometimes they teach us to stop wondering about fairy tales, or life, or failure. I’m not a philosopher or poet nor I claiming to be one. But I do know now that knowing failure is better than wondering if you would be successful at something and better than not trying at all. Don’t hesitate and seize the day. Whether it is being a doctor, run a marathon, plant a garden, being a writer or a musician. The list is endless! 

In the mean time I hope to keep this blog and document and share my journey as a writer. I’d been told I have a great imagination but my English and grammar is not very good and that I should probably try to write in my language instead. I was crushed for a little while. Conversely, this helped me. I continue writing. And naturally, the loving advice of a friend helped:  ‘Don’t resist, read and write, read and write, rinse and repeat!’

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