Epiphanies

On Being Freshly Pressed & Other Doubts

Writer by AmythePirate

Writer by AmythePirate

When I wrote “Absolute Certainty and Infinite Confidence“, I was sitting in front of my computer at the office, typing fervently yet sadly. I had stayed behind after my work day because I forced myself to keep working, even though all I wanted to do was  write. As soon as the clock struck 5, I opened my wordpress account and began typing.

This blog was always meant to be an escape pod. I tinkered with it and made it colourful, and it helped me get through my worst days. I find it hard to admit to people close to me when I am sad, especially when I have to formulate it into spoken words. I am never the one to say upfront, “Please stop doing this to me, because it hurts me”. Instead, I turn to my computer and write a poem or a short story to alleviate the pain, and transform it into something beautiful that I can read, and unashamed to share.

My friends have told me in the past that they had lost faith in blogging because it offers a venue for criticism: it allows you to be vulnerable and open to interpretation. This is all I think about when I write, and it proved to be incredibly limiting. I tried to find ways in which I can present my words to be selfless: to have it seamlessly combine with other people’s emotions and have it malleable to their experience. I wanted  some good to come out of my words, instead of a monologue about pain that was selfish and internal.

When I wrote “Absolute Certainty”, I was fully aware of my urge to write, and an adult voice telling me to “wait”, to “keep it inside until work was over”. And I suddenly had a longing for those days when I stopped at nothing just to write.

And halfway through the article, I began to discover the person I had grown into, whose behaviour crippled my  writing. Controlling that urge to write so that I can be productive while I’m at work made me so lonely because it brought me closer to the realization that I had transformed writing into a past time – a hobby, along with video games and watching TV, when it used to be the one and only purpose that motivated me, the one true weapon I had against the world.

And it made me so sad after I finished writing it, that I cringed when I hit “Publish”. I thought I was alone in feeling this way, that nobody else could understand that sense of loss we feel when we realize that we have lost control of meaning in our lives, that the purpose that once shaped our identity has become an illusion, and has left you disenchanted.

When I received the email about being Freshly Pressed, these were the words that stood out:

“We enjoyed this nostalgic post about your childhood love for reading and writing, and growing up and having less time for books. We think the rest of the community will agree.”

The first emotion I felt was sheer and complete terror. My old fears came back to haunt me: This was a terrible mistake. They read the article wrong. It can’t be this good. I’m going to have a lot of comments bringing me down and making fun of me — and to be honest, I was this close to deleting the post and shutting my blog down.

Because who could’ve thought that something beautiful could come out of  fears and insecurities? And yet it did, because I had forgotten why it’s so essential to document the narratives of our lives: so that we can all take part in the human struggle, so that we can build a community of support and encourage others to keep going despite obstacles, despite our own fears.

Reading your comments has revived that idea within me:

Writing is important because it is an extension of our souls – it is the process of creating something tangible and shareable so that we don’t have to internalize pain, so that we don’t have to be alone with our conflicts. It is the human mind solidified – and it can be a truly beautiful thing that evolves and manifests with each new reader gained, with each new meaning spun from the words we create.

A young writer from my university once told me that writing is a solitary activity, and to this I disagree. Because from now, every time I write, I take you all with me.

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19 thoughts on “On Being Freshly Pressed & Other Doubts

  1. “I had transformed writing into a past time – a hobby, along with video games and watching TV, when it used to be the one and only purpose that motivated me, the one true weapon I had against the world.”
    ^ This. I feel much the same. I want to go back to feeling confident that I *can* be a writer.

  2. 420magicnerd says:

    “A young writer from my university once told me that writing is a solitary activity, and to this I disagree. Because from now, every time I write, I take you all with me.”

    AMAZING

  3. sharono360 says:

    Wonderful! I feel a kinship. Sometimes my “stream of consciousness” writing is the best, when I am not trying so hard, or being afraid of criticism. I have way too many blogs, though. I like WordPress but my registered domain is at Blogger, so I keep them all.

    • Thank you! And you SHOULD keep them all. I think the most amazing thing about writing is that you can go back to them and re-ignite the old you who wrote those things down! “Stream of Consciousness” is definitely the best kind of writing, as I feel it’s the closest to the truth.

      xoxo

  4. You write so beautifully Ellise! The emotion in every word is so striking. Honest and wonderful writing. And you certainly aren’t alone in the fears you’ve described above. Glad I found you through FP!

    • Thank you! I try to lay out my emotions as honestly as I can in my writing, I find that most people have more in common than we’d like to think, and emotions are the main jumping point to our commonality. I’m so happy you enjoyed my writing. Thank you xoxo

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Years of working on a dissertation that has lost all meaning for me, beyond the perseverance of finishing what I’ve started, have all but sapped the love of writing I once had. But you’ve given me a shard of hope that it can return.

    • AH! It’s my lifelong dream to start a dissertation, I’m so happy you’re living it. I’m glad I was able to give you a shard of hope for your writing — it’s important, so never give up on it xoxo

  6. The voices in our head are wrong 94.6% of the time. We simply can’t afford to believe them. If you want to write, if you need to write, follow that path. I think the writing itself will eventually illuminate what dances between and through those sirens in our head.

  7. halcyoness says:

    Really love your honest writing! You have really inspired me to start writing again & with more confidence 🙂
    “I find it hard to admit to people close to me when I am sad, especially when I have to formulate it into spoken words.” I totally get it. And I’ve been struggling to blog for a long time now, setting up blogs then deleting them with the fear that someone i know would chance upon it. I just recently decided to create a blog again, & making it ‘public’ is a big jump for me. I’ve only just started, but hopefully it is the beginning of my writing journey. I hope to find more blogs and writers like you. You’re such an inspiration & you write beautifully! Don’t ever consider shutting down your blog!

  8. “writing is important because it is an extension of our souls” So true! & I would so feel the same way if I was featured. Thanks for sharing & extending your soul 🙂

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