Everything takes so much time, yet persistence I know will be the making of me. If you were to have told me all those years ago that I’d still be working on my novel, I would’ve applauded my commitment- yet I would most probably have groaned at the prospect of having to endure so much struggle. Sometimes, it feels like I’m stuck in a stasis. It’s like my life is on repeat. Months turn into years. It’s like the Myth of Sisyphus. Constantly pushing that boulder up the mountain only to see it fall back again. For so long that has mirrored my struggle. Am I nothing but a bullshit writer destined never to realise my dreams? Am I simply not good enough to see my work not only published, but to have an impact on the lives of those who read it? There are times when everything feels absurd. I feel delusional. I can see it in people’s faces when I talk to them of my journey. I feel like a fraud, like a phoney making excuses for not wanting to be like everyone else. And for so long it felt that was the case. Not being able to write. Not having the concentration to put pen to paper for just a few hours a week. Getting drunk and wasting time was far easier. Living a lie- a temporary solution to a permanent issue. All of those wasted days, those moments when it felt far easier to give up than to carry on with such a fantasy. How could I ever write a book? Me, the dyslexic, hyperactive only child who preferred playing games with invisible monsters over real kids. Me, the postgraduate who ended up stacking shelves for the best part of a decade while battling depression and skirting with alcoholism.
To give up would bring comfort. It would put an end to so much prolonged agony. Stop kidding yourself and get a grip. Other people write books, not you. How could someone like you ever make it? All that time spent not writing. Those endless afternoons walking through fields of corn looking for some kind of divine intervention. Those relationships destroyed because of the inner turmoil you couldn’t keep from bubbling out of control. I’m not distant; I’m just in two places at the same time. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that it feels like I’ve got the weight of half the world on my back. Judging myself on a daily basis. Stumbling through the days while desperately wanting to believe I had it in me. Faith. Faith that I would one day turn the corner. That one day, the words would return, and the passion would ignite me once more. It hurts. The way the days escape, and the regret of all I’ve lost mocking me without mercy. Such a fool for even beginning in the first place. But why give up now? Why stop when for so many years the ideas and visions have been so clear? Even when the words never came, the power of make believe lifted me up. It guided me through the darkness. On the brink of destruction, it give me its hand and lead me to safety. Words can break, yet they make and save me every day. If there’s a passion in your heart for something, it should never be denied. No matter how fanciful or stupid it seems, you have to go for it. It will breed chaos. It will destroy love- but it will be worth it. One day, when you’re ready, everything will become clear.
Categories: On Writing