I love words. They are like food for the soul. I choose them meticulously and string them together carefully. I don’t write just to write – something comes to my heart and first I chew on it, acknowledge the feeling I have about it, weigh out my thoughts on it, go to bed with it and when I wake up in the morning next to it, I write about it.
I’ve tried so many times to write fiction, but just can’t. It feels like I’m cheating on my soul and lying to the thing that I probably like most; words. It feels like a lie, I get confused whether I should write in a first or third person voice, I feel a sense of anxiety that I won’t be able to be true to the character that I just made up, that I will lose his voice somewhere along the way and that the fictional character will sit somewhere shaking his head in disbelief, thinking how could someone twist and abuse their story in such a hurtful way. I feel sorry for that character and usually stop after the first chapter of just 800 words.
There is no bigger joy to me than to use my own voice inspired by my heart and soul. I don’t write because my livelihood depends on it, but rather because I use it as a medium of expression to communicate what I feel and experience.
A few years ago, when I got stuck on poetry, someone asked me to write a poem for their father’s birthday. I agreed, but during that time I still had no idea how my love for words worked and affected me. I struggled and had so much trouble to write a poem about someone whom I’ve never met. I asked for a few words or ideas that will describe her father in order to help me, but it didn’t. Vladimir Nabokov said: “Words without experience are meaningless”. Eventually when I finished the poem I felt disgusted as if I just lied to my own soul and betrayed myself. In a way I felt cheap, like a whore who just woke up in yet another bed.
To write is to struggle, but with the struggle of the experience comes the joy with the experience. Writing for me is a process. First it feels like a heavy burden resting on my shoulders, one loaded with anticipation. It’s a process where I am in the waiting room of my heart, with a feeling that excites, eagerly waiting to see what the result will be. During the process I don’t ask questions. There is a reason for every word I choose a reason for every punctuation mark and a reason for every paragraph break. I write, I don’t ask questions. I let it be. A blank piece of paper or an empty screen is my canvas and with words, punctuation and paragraph breaks I paint. Some people just see a few hundred words on paper, but what I see is the dance between the letter and the word, the tango between the punctuation mark and the open space of a paragraph break and in the end it’s a symphony of elements strung together, balancing each other out like the instruments at an orchestra. It’s a place where magic happens between the elements of a language, a place where I don’t question the harmony. It’s a place where I feel content and balanced. It’s a place where thought controls reason, where heart controls mind. It’s a place where I can experience each moment as it is. The process is of writing is a joyous struggle and in the end my heart feels light again, like a feather in the wind. In the end the weight I had on my shoulders is forever cast in words, set free to run wild with the other words I so often scribble.
The worst thing that can happen during the process is to be hastily rushed, to be ordered to write in a certain tone or when an outside force changes the pattern, omits a comma or paragraph break, when an outside force, oblivious to the joyous struggle I went through, alters what happened during the process. I fell in love with words at a very young age, so when it comes to words I am emotional, probably too emotional. I put everything I am and have into every single word I write. To see how someone can so easily change my words without even blinking or thinking twice is like a blunt knife to the heart, like they are ripping pieces of my soul through a tiny pore. It’s a pain like no other. It feels like I’m losing a limb, giving a child up for adoption, as if someone is sticking their finger through that pore and swirling it around in my heart, poking and touching every chamber. In a way I feel cheap, as if I’m throwing something sacred at vultures, watching them as they torn it into pieces of lifeless meat. I am probably too emotional when it comes to words.
There is no process, like the process of writing that can touch me in such an affectionate way. Beautiful words can bring tears to my eyes, excite me, feed me and inspire me. I put words on my walls, on my skin and every now and then I find a random piece of paper in my bag where I scribbled a beautiful saying I found somewhere. One word can change my whole day; a quote can change my whole life. Words echo everlastingly, they are carried through generations; they speak gently and soulfully whisper into eternity.
I am probably too emotional when it comes to words.
But am I really?
I won’t know. I don’t ask questions, I just write.