Whenever I read old literature that I wrote, poetry and prose–unfinished essays, first chapter of unfinished novels, fan fictions–I start to feel queasy. It is like going back to a room to get something important, but you forget what it is. It feels like losing a parcel, sent by your dearest person, without knowing what it contains. Oftentimes, it is but a fleeting feeling. But they collect like silt on the bottom of a shallow river.
From time to time, I get this desire to write something, anything, but the thought of being no good stops me. It seems, however, that my problem is not simply my lack of ability. I lost my art.
With regards to writing, I thought it was because I became more aware of grammar mistakes, redundancy, accuracy, and even plagiarism. I read an advice that said I should focus on the content and avoid repeatedly reviewing, and editing, my sentences. I tried, but I kept on failing to follow. I thought I should, instead, improve on my choice of medium first (the English language) before attempting to write.
I always tell me that I lost my art, but I do not know how exactly…
Until I read this essay written by Christian Mihai about “selling your heart”, including the cited letter of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald to an aspiring young author, I finally realized the reason.
I lost my art when I stopped becoming vulnerable. During a certain period in my past, I had to protect my heart in order to live on. I was a very unstable person.
I still am–I get my high from the night breeze, and plummet to my deepest from hearing throaty laughter. Emotions scare me. I do not know what to do with them. My best option is to write, but even then I cannot revel in my emotions. It is too troublesome to explain myself to people who can see me. To explain why I am suddenly a different person.
So I play it safe.
Lately, however, I try to be more honest. I am slowly ridding my bad habit: lying to myself. I want to reconnect with the person that I was. If it is impossible, at least I want to acknowledge the person that I want to be. It will take a lot of effort, and a lot more sacrifices, but I feel now, more than ever, how important this is to me.