Writing

I remember hating writing. I don’t remember why, exactly, or what reasons I gave, but I remember one event specifically where I made sure that I, and everyone around me, knew and understood that I hated writing.

It was probably in elementary school – a long time ago, but not really. I remember there was this event going on at a local bookstore, a Borders one, I believe, in Livingston. And I remember my mom taking me, and meeting up with some lady she knew and her son (who, as luck may have it, is now one of my close friends, if not…”constant” ones).

I don’t imagine I could’ve been more than ten at the time, but I remember the event so well – this really nice lady (I’m speaking like I’m ten again…why does that happen?) had written two books and was signing them and giving some sort of event at the bookstore.

The names of the books? I have no idea. The author? I have no idea. I do remember, though, that before the event started, she was talking to me and she asked if I liked writing, and I remember vehemently (well not “vehemently”, just…”madly” at the time, I suppose) shaking my head and saying something along the lines of (or possibly verbatim): “No, I HATE writing!”

And she had the subdued surprise of someone who’s heard it a thousand times but would still like to change your mind, and very patiently goes, “Oh? And why is that?”

I don’t remember what answer I gave. I don’t even remember if I gave a proper answer at all; for all I know it was something like “I dunno, I just hate it!”

Which it…probably was.

She had written two books, and I can sketch the covers for you if you want me to but for the life of me I cannot remember what her name was or what those books were.

But I do remember that at the end of the event, she wrote a special inscription on the inside cover for me when she was signing it. Again, it’s been a while, but I do remember it said something like “I hope you eventually learn to love writing! Love, Author X”.

You know what’s funny? I never got through those books.

I was in a stage at the time where I went to the library every week without fail and picked up about fifteen books, and went through them all by the next trip. I read them so fast my parents questioned whether I actually got anything out of them.

And I had tried reading her books, really I did. I brought them with me everywhere. Granted, I brought an average of three to four books with me everywhere I went, as I always read more than one at a time, and god forbid I finish one while I was out and didn’t have anything to read!

But that was in the three to four book pile for weeks, which is eons in elementary school kid time, and yet I would just cast it aside after the first few pages, time after time again.

A while later, I just gave up.

Their pages never got that soft feeling when they’re flipped too many times, their spines never got cracked in so many places it would stay open despite being a softcover book. They stayed beautifully pristine, with that inscription in the front.

I don’t remember where those books are now. I can’t imagine having thrown them away or given them away, but I certainly don’t have them on my current bookshelves, and it’s been many years since I’ve thought about them.

But the thing is, Author X, I still don’t really like writing. I like typing, though, and I like sharing my thoughts with whoever cares to read them, which, although is few, is still cathartic in a way that nothing else can quite seem to be.

Sometimes I like just doing a brain dump, like this one, where nothing really makes sense and there’s no flow to what I’m saying, where I’m just sitting here typing away at a hundred or so words a minute and hardly getting to think about what I’m saying before I’m already on to the second line.

But sometimes I like sitting down with a notebook and sketching out what I’d like to say, what I’d like to share. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it does, and when I go back and check words and revise them and make sure that every sentence and every word means what I want it to mean and says what I want it to say, then. Then I think that I might like writing after all.

So Author X, I just thought that you’d like to know that little girl you asked to give writing another chance all that years ago…well, she might still not like “writing” as her professors would like her to, but really, you know, “writing” itself isn’t so bad after all.

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