Writing Ennui

I haven’t written a story in ages.

(No, that’s not true. Not technically. I wrote a story just last month – a tiny, little, over-the-top drama that I literally agonized squeezing into the 600-maximum word count.) (It was for our magazine… so I’m not entirely sure it counted?)

Let me rephrase it then. I haven’t written a story entirely for myself in ages. No indulgent fan fictions. No aimless and shoddy short fictions. No ambitious multi-chaptered things that never live the see past the second chapter. (Those that do make it to the third chapter, well, let’s just say they ought to be left in the dark.) I’ve written none for myself. Nothing, nada, zilch. (god, that ruined the alliteration)

I’ve been writing more than I’ve ever written since I started writing, I admit. And I may also even go as far as to say that my writing thus far has been more polished now. However, I feel as though I’m still missing something. Rather, I miss a certain kind of writing. I miss those trysts with fiction and creative writing that usually end with me realizing how crude and gawky I am and then crying at my inadequacy; those nights of passion (and mostly heartache) when I embrace a world of my own creation (dilapidated and lacking they may be) and engage myself with the characters that sprung out of my mind. Those nights I feel the most like a writer. I miss them.

Way, way back when I was younger and more naive, I imagined myself a forever loyal patriot of the craft of creative writing. I fantasized being a 20-something (that’s me right now) college graduate (not yet, not yet) cruising through life with a pen on one hand (just for symbolism, I’m not one for writing things by hand) and a head just filled to the brim with stories that could touch the hearts of others. The child me was so sure I’d be that sort of person, that sort of writer, that there were even instances when I’d be terrified of running out of ideas as early as then. I’d list down all of the story ideas running around in my head and make sure, absolute sure, that I could and would write them one day. Then I’d convince myself to trust that older me would have more ideas what to write.

If I could meet that young me, I’d apologize profusely to her, I think.

Truth be told, I haven’t been actively trying to get back to my groove either. (Some attempts were made every few months or so, when I realize how hungry I had become for writing, but they’ve all been futile so far.) It’s not as though I’ve completely given up on my dream of one day writing a decent story, one that I’d be proud of at last, it’s just that… I can’t seem to motivate myself enough to pursue it again. That sort of writing isn’t, and I do hate saying this, practical anymore. Not for me at least.

See, the stories that I now write aren’t fictional, though I try to write them as creatively as I can (not at the expense of being truthful and accurate, mind you). I write news and features and opinions now – they consume most of my time and dominate the use of my writing faculties. Though I still value creative writing and fiction, I can’t help but admit that non-fic write ups are more convenient… profitable, in some cases. That and they’re just easier to write since the facts are available and all I need to do is dress them up so that they’re readable and enjoyable. (Though sometimes cold hard facts can be dull and uninteresting but I guess that’s to be expected when you’ve only got reality to work with.)

I wish I could go back to being that sweetly naive to believe that writing is as quick and easy as I imagined. I wish I could be able to include on my To-Do List my goal to write a novel without feeling too ambitious and foolish. I wish I could go back to being able to be confident enough on my story ideas to at least write them down and finish them without getting tangled in self-doubt and staunched by overthinking every little thing. I wish I could be the writer that the younger me had imagined I’d be when I got to this age.

Regardless, I’m a writer still. Not the kind that I had thought I’d ever be (journalism was never even something I’d remotely consider back then) but I write stories anyway. People’s stories. That’s something.

I’ll try to conjure up a short story before classes start this June. I doubt I’ll be able to finish it though… In which case, I’ll try again. And again. And again. And again.

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