WHY WEDNESDAY: Why I’m a Failed Writer

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVTXPUF4Oz4

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. I was always obsessed with carrying notebooks with me everywhere I went just in case I came up with any ideas.

I really struggled with learning to speak English and was put into remedial classes in order to help me with my second language. I had to attend extra English classes, had to have a study buddy for reading, I was monitored so closely that I ended up being surrounded by anything that could help me learn. I had all these books, was allowed to watch movies and TV shows to help me come along in my English that somewhere along the way I learned to love literature.

Once I could understand what I was reading and writing I started to love words. I loved how they sounded, how they looked, I loved their meanings, how in the English language one word can have multiple meanings. English fascinated me and I found myself spending a lot of my childhood reading books of different genres to satisfy this need I had to be absorbed in the different stories, journeys and cultures that the stories and information could provide for me.

I had friends as a kid but I was so awkward that I felt most comfortable when I was in the peace and quiet of the library. Every Birthday and Christmas I was lucky enough to receive lots of books and even though I had built up quite a collection it wasn’t enough.

Pretty soon I dabbled in writing fan fiction, whenever I would read a book and felt unhappy with how the journey panned out, I would write my own variation. Back in the day computers and the internet wasn’t a big thing that everyone had, I didn’t know that the internet had a world full of fan fiction I could enjoy so I wrote my own. I would spend hours writing in my little notebooks filling them up with stories from characters I had borrowed, I even did crossovers with my favourite characters always longing to have my very own characters I could someday bring to life.

I had a passion for poetry and have many books filled with poems I’ve written over the years. Most aren’t very good but I spent years dreaming of someday putting together a poem collection to compile into a book so that I could share my thoughts and feelings in a somewhat musical way. It was then that I learned that songwriting followed a very similar structure to poems and by that time I had a met a very talented musician who shared the same passion as I did for words.

Together we would spend our lunchtimes and weekends writing songs together, me with the lyrics and he wrote the music either on the piano or on his guitar.

I would like to think I was very good at this. Telling stories whether it be in an article, blog post, book, poem or song.

But the one thing I was never good at was being able to share this with others.

Sometimes if I was brave enough to, I would read snippets of things to family members, but I would never accept the encouragement they would give me. I figured I just wasn’t good enough to consider my hobby as a talent of mine. I didn’t think anyone other than good friends and close family members would be interested in what I had to say or the imagination I had.

That was basically my life up until 4 years ago when I started my blog.

I’m a failed writer because I hate the writing standards. Have you noticed I hardly spell check my work, I figure because this is a blog and I do it for fun and as a creative outlet, I don’t like to fully proofread, I like my words to be in the moment, what I’m thinking when I’m thinking it. A lot of these blog posts are written on my phone when I’m travelling. Those thoughts about commuting and angry person rants are written as it’s happening and are completely authentic. I’ve found when I’ve re-written and edited blogs, I’ve lost some of that emotion and then it begins to sound a lot differently to how I intended it to. I also hate how you have to have a voice, a certain voice to match people, that to me is not authentic. When I was working for a website, my editor told me I had to change my writing style to match the content but it was a personal piece. How can I change the voice of a personal piece? It then is no longer personal. It makes no sense to me. The only way I can write is from the heart. I can research and do whatever else I can to make a piece of writing work but ultimately you’ll notice the difference between something from the heart and something rehearsed and one of the main reasons I couldn’t hack it as a writer is because I want to be unapologetically authentic. Did I get the whole point of it there? Am I a failed writer because I want to maintain my authenticity whilst storytelling? Can people make it as writers without working for an organisation? I want to be like the lady who wrote 50 shades of grey, whilst I have a lot of comments about that book series, I love how she grabbed her opportunity to write how she liked to write, and release such a worldwide success. How rare does that happen? I want to reiterate how unapologetic I want to be because that’s the only way I know how to write. I’ve lived my entire life being sorry for many things, for being born, being me, being present, the one thing I’ve never had to feel sorry for is my writing. I want these blog posts and these stories to be a part of me, that I’m sharing with you, whoever you are, wherever you are, I want you to feel something, be that anger, sadness, happiness, just as long as I make you feel.

I’ve lived quite a crazy, confusing and rollercoaster life that my one go-to for stress release and for picking up my spirits is to write. I love the feeling I get when I put into words the feelings that are going through me. Sometimes I’ll write a letter to myself and I’ll allow myself to speak candidly about how I’m feeling. Even if it’s just to say how shit the day has been. I feel like someday I’ll be able to look at it and see how far I’ve come.

Because of my strong need for my image of writing to be unblemished, for it to always be my safe and happy place, I’ve become so afraid to be able to take a step forward in a potential writing career.

I’m a failed writer because I’ve always been afraid of the next step and have even been satisfied enough to keep those characters I’ve written about over the years to stay hidden in the depths of my notebooks.

I can’t even begin to tell you about how many books/stories I’ve written and stopped writing when it comes to finishing it off. It’s like an actor with stage fright. They love it, they love to act, it’s their passion but there’s this huge fear of failing that pretty much works against them. But then I think, how am I suppose to improve if I can’t share my work and hear what other people think. Maybe I’m doing this right, but another thing wrong and there are a whole lot of people who are wanting to know the same thing. A community of online people wanting to escape the fear and anxiety they have and receive validation for something they think was great.

I mean for years I’ve refused to consider myself as a writer then that would be a dream career for me. Instead, I’ve happily focused on other things because I’ve thought, writing is only a hobby for me.

Being able to write in my blog about real stuff has been great but almost limiting for me. I’ve wanted to for so long look into writing fiction on here or even work on finishing some of those stories that have been untouched for years.

I mean just a few years ago a book came out that followed along the same lines of a story and short film I wrote almost 10 years ago. I know the author had no way of copying my idea, I’m not saying that but I couldn’t believe how similar the stories were, even down to the title, our two titles only different by 1 word, 1 word! The author made millions from that book, and yet I had the same idea 10 years prior.

But then looking at it from another angle, I’m not a money motivated person. I only do things if I enjoy it and monetary incentives don’t work for me. I mean it’s a bonus if say, I enjoyed a book and the author wanted me to promote it, then I would be able to in good conscience because I know I enjoyed it. So when it comes to writing, my main motivation has always been because I hope to inspire, encourage and show people that they’re not alone, with my fiction stories, I hope that I can make people dream like my favourite authors once did. My passion for stories made me want to see the world, understand and be fascinated by other cultures. It helped me dare to dream, it taught me life lessons, I got to find an escape if life was a little tough. Being a kid, reading gave me the chance to fantasise about a world outside of my own and I owe so much to reading and the stories. I think this is an opportunity that sadly not everyone has.

I see so many authors who advocate for every child to have the opportunity to read, and I love that. I love how you can help the world with your words and I want to be a part of that. Maybe someday I will, I mean I’ve taken a huge step opening up my heart and world to all the strangers that read this blog. When I get comments or messages telling me how I’ve opened their eyes to something or even just that they’ve enjoyed going on a journey with me, it fills my heart with so much hope that I too will someday contribute to this change in the world.

I’m a failed writer because I’ve allowed my ego to stand in the way of my dreams. Who cares if 100 people hate what I’ve written, to me, just as long as 1 person is in someway changed and inspired, I know I would have done what I set out to do.

To this day it amazes me just how powerful the art of storytelling is. Look at all the good JK Rowling has done to our world, and that all started with a guy named Harry Potter. Things like Comic-Con, a place where thousands of people meet their idols, share their love for their favourite characters and get to celebrate these wonderful things with like-minded individuals, wouldn’t even happen had it not been for one writer to dared to dream outside of their reality. This freedom that literature allows you is so fascinating and I love how any story can bring people together. Young or old, people can enjoy settling down and reading their book getting lost in another realm, world and story even for just a few hours.

I’m a failed writer because I’m sitting here talking about wanting to be a writer when I’ve not done anything about it. But in writing this and admitting how I regret those years wasted being afraid, it’s making me realise that maybe the worst thing I can do is live out the rest of my life not sharing my passion with you. Maybe it’s better to receive the criticism and know that I tried to live out my dream than let the critics stop me before I’ve even started.

Maybe the first step is to find a good website where people share their stories and get a feel for that first? We’ll see, if you have any suggestions, please let me know, I’d love to find other aspiring writers who can share their work with me too.

Always remember…

Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!

Peace and Love

Jessy x

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2 thoughts on “WHY WEDNESDAY: Why I’m a Failed Writer

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Lets hope that 2017 is the year we shed our failed writer status 🙂 I wish you all the luck, let me know if there’s anything I can help you with 🙂

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