I used to be able to write like the wind. Words would pour from my thoughts into my fingers so quickly I couldn’t type or print to keep up. I would have papers littered with those weird word hybrids that happen when you have just such a good idea that you end up blending words in your haste to get them down on paper.
And now? Everything I write is unfinished.
For example, I have four drafts on this blog called witty things like “My Grandfather and Dumbledore Died the Same Summer and I’m Still Not Over It” and “Having the Same Name as a TV Character Does Not Make Me a Doctor.” But that’s just it. They’re drafts. Not finished. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to make my life amusing. Maybe it’s because inspiration strikes but I can’t follow the path it blazes through my mind. And if lightning “never strikes the same place twice” where the hell are my ideas coming from?
When I was nine and reading way beyond my grade level, I read Little Women for the first time. I immediately identified with Jo March (and I still hate Amy. Jo and Laurie were my first OTP before I even realised what an OTP was) and her love for putting words to the page. I used to write my own short stories – dozens and dozens on 1998 Microsoft Word and they are embarrassing so no, you may not see them ever – but always struggled to end them. I dreamt of writing my own book one day, maybe fiction, maybe a cheeky memoir, maybe one of those romance novels with Fabio on the cover. I had the words and they flowed freely, until I started approaching my conclusions and then they just stopped. As did I. I’m not even joking – I have dozens of my own stories taking fold on various computers, but they all stop before a conclusion is reached.
When I was twenty-one and living in London after my term abroad, I discovered HBO’s Girls and immediately identified with Hannah Horvath. Struggling to adult, wanting to be a writer, dealing with a boyfriend who treats her heart “like monkey meat” – this was me. Except for the whole “I’ve accepted that being a published author is a rarity and one can’t really solely write for a living because I like living above the poverty line and not with my parents.” And when I got dumped by my monkey-meat heart-treating boy three months later, writing is what kept me sane. Looking back, it’s all very disgusting, depressing and nauseatingly whiny. And embarrassing (shoutout to every friend I send my breakup writings to, because you didn’t punch me in the face).
Anyway. I like tangents. But my point is – what makes Hannah actually sit the hell down and write her ebook? A push. Sure, her push is a deadline looming from an editor. And my push? I’m basically trying not to be bested by the bitch who makes my skinny vanilla lattes. More about that later – I am all about the open letters and calling people out (See “Bitch, Unnecessary” for a very accurate description of me).
In a perfect world, I’d be living in a garret in Paris, subsisting on wine and Ladurée macarons and writing books that would fly off of the shelves. But since I’m unfortunately a realist, I know that’s not happening anytime soon, if ever. But I’ve gotten out of touch with what I love, so even if the world won’t read it, I’m going to start – and finish, for once – something I’ve wanted to do since I finally mastered writing the letter S.
Hannah and Jo would be proud.