On writing: My history with words

On writing: My history with words

Hi, my name is Ela, and I’m addicted to words.
Hi, Ela!

writing, words

Ever since I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was read and write. I’d read gigantic books at the dinner table and get scolded for it. It didn’t matter what topic: medicine, cooking, homemaking, interior design, conspiracy theories… I devoured them all. I was writing short stories as soon as I could use a word processor.

When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a writer. I was discouraged from that ambition because “writers don’t make enough money,” they said. Even at a young age, I understood that making money was important enough to influence my goals. So I gave up that dream pretty quickly.

Junior year of college in UST, I got into the Thomasian Writers Guild (TWG) by some stroke of luck.

I was fascinated, and terrified, by the talent that my peers had. Honestly, it put me off of writing, because how could I possibly measure up to these intimidating, smart, articulate people who could write so well (at least, in my humble opinion)?.

It was difficult for me to continue writing at that time because I felt I wasn’t good enough. I hadn’t read the important books, hadn’t had experience with academic literary criticism, hadn’t an idea of literary theory. Like, how can I possibly write well if I apparently didn’t know what good writing was?

Still, I continued to write prose, shitty poetry, and short fiction. I blogged on and off for over 10 years, up to now. I worked through the feeling of inadequacy. I read as much as I can (which isn’t much, because work gets in the way of leisure) and tried to find ways to express myself better with everything I wrote.

Eventually, what I discovered was that I had a penchant for writing about myself – the subject I knew most about.

I decided that my blog should be more personal, more open, more vulnerable. In my mind, exposing my inner self to a bunch of strangers on the Internet is a decision that is both brave and dumb, two qualities that I have in tremendous amounts.

Don’t get me wrong, I still try to improve by observing others’ styles and picking up on what I like and dislike. That only means I don’t hate my own stuff just because it’s not as eloquent as another person’s.

My blog isn’t the most popular, but it’s 100% me. Nowadays, I don’t write with a specific audience in mind, hoping desperately for validation that I’m a good writer. (Most of the time, anyway.) Now, I feel so much freer to write what I want because I’ve been refraining from comparing my work with others’.

If you love words as much as I do, tweet me your blog link at my Twitter account @elakaimo. I’d be happy to check out your stuff!

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