Learning To Write. Again.
And the journey towards uncovering my true self.
Back in 2012, I used to sit and churn out 5,000 words minimum daily. It was my attempt to become a world famous author before I turned 23.
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have read so many rags to riches stories.
I would sit in front of the computer from 8am to 5pm until full novels were produced. There was a lot of words and repetition with not much proof reading. I would make elaborate story lines that I had to get out from my head before they all disappeared.
To date, I believe I’ve made about $30 in total from six 75,000 words novels through Amzon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. These ‘novels’ are now the unspoken creatures of my past. Thank goodness I wrote and published them under a pen name.
By 2013, my time had run out and I had to get a job.
By 2014, I stopped writing completely as life and reality came into full swing.
It’s been almost half a decade since I’ve constructed a tale on a word document and since my burnout of 2012.
In the beginning of the year I decided to pick up the digital pen once again and put fingers to keyboard.
At first I was stuck.
I wanted to write but didn’t know what to write about. I can’t remember how many drafts or days it took to finally come up with this.
Going off the high of a whopping 74 views and 40 reads, I began to create more content. But the more I wrote, the expected numbers of views and reads didn’t match up. In fact, then dropped off quite quickly with no interaction.
Not a single clap.
Not a single comment.
Not even a shout out or pat on the back for making something.
I can’t remember when it started, only that I had the urge to keep writing.
Over time, when my Medium articles was no better than a dead zone, I gave up writing for an imaginary audience, gave up the dreams of grandeur and started writing for me.
I decided that if I’m going to write, I might as well have at least one dedicated reader.
So I began writing about me.
73 published Medium articles later and countless discarded drafts, my process and reason for writing has transformed from a fledgling wannabe with only the end dollar in mind to a personal collection of experiences and thoughts that expects nothing in return.
I finally learnt to write for the enjoyment and love of writing. It started with learning to write in the first person, drawing on my personal thoughts and experiences with the topic.
18 June 2018
I received a phone call I wasn’t expecting. It was from the finance manager and HR. I knew instantly that something wasn’t right when he asked me if I wanted to sit down first.
It was on this day I found out I will no longer have a job.
A few weeks after the initial phone call, I went through an existential crisis as I slipped into a sense of uncertainty about my financial future.
I knew I needed a job — how else am I going to pay rent and feed the baby? But deep down, I knew that going straight back into the workforce would destroy my soul.
I was already in a zombie like state working as a team lead and looking back, I was probably close to turning into one of those middle aged, hate my life, miserable kind of personas.
Writing kept me sane. Writing re-balanced my brain. Writing was my outlet. My reprieve. My space to search, uncover and discover my true self.
I had reach a level of realness in my writing but not my daily life. That part of my head was still in a different space — a completely different universe and frame of mind.
While I kept it real in my writing, I was still lying to myself in the physical world and to those around me.
So I started writing every day as a reflection of my day.
The first 20 days were good days. I didn’t feel like a fraud with my writing. They were my stories and my experiences.
But as the days turned and nothing much happened, I began to struggle for content. I started to write just for the sake of writing and invisible expectations of people following my journey. I began to self impose a sort of progress update in my writing.
Except there was no progress.
In the 30 days, I started off strong with grand plans and ideas but nothing happened. I couldn’t come back to my audience and tell them that I made it. There was too much going on in my daily life with baby, freelancing, the self imposed need to write and keeping the house clean.
I was talking to other writers, telling them my grand plans but going no where in particular with them.
At the end of my 30 days, I felt burnt out again.
I started to read again in my hiatus from writing.
I picked up 12 Rules for Life from the bookstore in the mall and dug up my copy of The Alchemist from the garage. The combination of these two books must have done something to my brain.
I came back onto Medium with a different mindset and goal: to pursue balance — physically, emotionally and financially.
In all my attempts to write, I would often fall wayside or go to the extremes and neglect one of the three crucial elements to a happy life.
What I lacked is balance.
And when I lacked balance, I tend to burn out — especially when it comes to writing.
Then it’s a downhill spiral of feeling like a fraud.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write — just don’t know what about.
I tried copying the voices of others but that didn’t go so well. Now I’m working on developing my own voice and it has enlightened me in many aspects of my life.
Over the past 9 months, I’ve tried multiple times to write and resisted the urge to delete everything and start all over again. There something about having a live audience that prevents me from doing the later.
So here I am, attempt number who knows what to write, this time about my journey and pursuit of balance and Medium is my chosen platform to document it.
At 28, everyone else seems to have it all figured out. Maybe I’m just a late bloomer doing things a bit backwards.
Writing in my own voice is slowly helping me uncover my true self. Through writing, I’m uncovering long forgotten dreams and quashed idea. Through writing, I’m learning to be authentic in my life and accountable to my personal needs and wants.
Through writing, I’m learning to be me.