To be fair to the people who read my post objecting to a profusion of love stories, I did not mean to be offensive, nor did I mean to hate romance genre as a whole. If anything, there was a certain reason why I still let the beauty of romance touch me. It’s just that there are moments, as captured by that post, when that power to evoke seems misused.
I reflected on writing that piece after quite a while, and I almost thought I should abandon it. Why? It’s because I’m too sensitive about my own work. Art and other forms of expressing the human emotion deserve to be encouraged. After all, an author or an artist could be pouring out their heart and soul into the piece.
Recently, I have been using several images from Deviant Art on my pages. As a person who is incapable of drawing even a straight line freehand, I am always in awe of what the members of this community are capable of. They often request for critiques and comments. Who am I, a lowly mortal, to claim that they should alter it in any way? By merely viewing these galleries and having an account of my own, have I really earned the right to judge someone else’s expression?
It seems very brave on their behalf to offer up the baby of their imagination up for such scrutiny. It’s a moot point that nobody actually dares to express their dislike in the comments section, but I still do not know if I am so brave as to publicize my work so openly. I rarely post links to this blog on any common social media networks and most of the people who do follow me on this community have never been exposed to any other form of my work. They could very well ignore it and scroll past to other things in their life, but they don’t and I like to flatter myself with the idea that they probably like what they read here.
I sometimes wonder why I write. Especially this blog, which is my first non-fiction endeavor and as such, more reflective of my reality than anything else. Is it for an audience? Is it to prove something? Is it all for myself?I love writing because it helps me provide some form of a carrier to all the emotions in my head and it gives me a valid reason for expressing them. I love writing because it feels like the only way I can find some sense of coherence to organize myself.
I love writing because I love reading. I adore stories, they’ve manged to keep my imagination alive. I always imagined that one of the most important component of our childhood that we carry is our stories. True they may be considered as fairy tales; they are imaginary, they are lies that do not reflect the big bad world. But they did give us the power to conceptualize ideas and dimensions that were beyond our immediate reach. They allowed us to experiment with life via their characters and ideals without tainting ourselves.Strangely enough, for me, it is actually easier to write stories than write non-fiction.
In my stories, mostly science fiction, I am allowed to create a universe from scratch and alter any variable in the equilibrium as I please and create whatever I want out of it. It is literally a blank canvas, supported with a lot of established fact and speculation. Real life seems to be much richer, much more varied in scope and much more powerful, precisely because it’s tangibly, painfully, real. I cannot choose where the stories begin or where they end. I am just guided along by the plot of my own mundane existence, aware that everyone else is surviving their own and somehow, this all adds up in the overall sense of equilibrium.Yet, in some mirror image of the cosmos, I try to write, picturing my humble ordinary life as something worth recording about. No more am I writing for the sake of the imaginary. I’m “keeping it real”.
Rather childishly, when I first started writing, I wanted people to give me feedback on it. I wanted the people I knew to take the time in reading what I’d written. Since these people already knew me as a person, instead of a writer, they always offered positive or the vague “Yes, it was nice” response. I don’t mean to say that they didn’t mean it and were lying to me. I simply felt that in an effort to be nice they might have added a buffer between what they actually felt and what they were telling me.
I foraged some more on the internet, looking for readers. I soon found some of them. These strangers, who did not know me, liked my writing and had several good things to mention about it. These were the people who had been granted the liberty of shooting my work down in the mud, and yet they chose to say that they liked it. This might come across as a cliche, but this is what happens in my mind.
I’ve even had days and people who did not like my writing. They were the ones who came back to ask me what my English grades were, since my writing was so bad. They were the ones who picked on my piece for all the shoddy editing and all the errors I had thought my ideas were large enough to cover. It hurt so terribly. I’m ashamed to them, that despite their hopefully well-meaning advice, I was still susceptible to holding a grudge against them. On another level, that input has made me even more paranoid about my grammar. Does that make me a better writer? A good writer? What does that make me? Perhaps a sentimental, emotionally-driven person who has no underlying coherence to her thoughts and is deluding herself that the world will forgive her tiny errors in light of her projected ideas.
At the end of the day, it seems rather disappointing to conclude that I write eventually for myself. Even when I didn’t have any readers of my work, no appreciation or censure from the outside world, I wrote. More so, even when my writing is ignored and stashed away under the annals of something that is more relevant and more interesting to the rest of the world, I would still write. At this very moment I cannot tell how many people are reading this, but I know that even if that number is 0, I would still write. Then the whole need to write and to be expressive seems to fuel a very self-centered need. I wonder if all art is like that? Are we serving some other driving instinct than just pleasing ourselves?
I can honestly say that I do not know. Maybe someday, in the midst of all these words and ideas, I’ll find out. Or maybe I won’t and I will continue to be happily trapped in this void. I’ll just need to invest more emotion into my writing to find out.