And agonizing! And exhilarating! It has been such a long time since I allowed myself to write just for the sake of writing that I had forgotten how much I love it. I’m not counting this blog of course, which I love writing; however, blog writing is a totally different animal from fiction writing.
Most of my readers know that one of my goals for 2013 is to write for at least 5 minutes a day. That’s 5 minutes of writing fiction or writing for pleasure only – not blog writing, not school writing, and not writing for “business” (I’m currently writing an e-course on prayer but that’s for another time). No, this is for getting down on paper the story ideas that have been brewing in my head for a while now.
I am happy to say that I’ve writing at least 5 minutes every day for the past 10 days and most days more than five minutes. It’s been a strange experience for me. I’m discovering things about myself which I wasn’t expecting. I just wanted to write, not have some sort of “discovery of self” but it’s kind of been like that. It’s been quite an emotional experience, for sure.
In one sense, during those 5-some-odd minutes I am writing, I have felt the most “me.” Like I am most “myself” when I am writing. I am unmasked in away. It’s as if I was made to write (and maybe I am???). I don’t know how to put into words, but when I write, all my defenses are down and I am just me. And that may be because some of this writing, although fiction, is loosely based on personal past experience.
This unmasking, however, makes me feel exposed and that’s scary. I know that 99% of what I write will not be seen by anyone else but that doesn’t stop me from feeling this way. It’s almost like the whole world can read my soul when I am writing. I guess that’s because when I write, I’m writing from my soul. I’m letting myself write from the heart – something I haven’t done in a long time.
Writing everyday for these 5 minutes have also been agonizing because when I look back at what I write, it sucks! Okay, maybe not totally sucks, but my writing seems rusty and bad – which it probably is. I am out of practice, so it’s not surprising, I guess. But, then, so what? It doesn’t have to be great. It just has to be what it is – for now. I’ll worry about the quality of the writing when I have something more substantial written and I’ll just let myself be happy with the “nothings” I’ve written so far.
There’s more but I will leave it at that. For those of you who are writers or aspiring writers, what is the writing experience like for you? Especially in the beginning, when you made the commitment to write regularly, what was the experience like for you? I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds writing an emotional experience. Right? If you are comfortable, do share your experience in the comments.