There are some days when I feel as if I could conquer the world. I would write up a storm and I would feel as if I could bring life to words. “I can do this,” I think, “I’ve thought up a brilliant idea, and I love it, and I will bring it to life.” These are the days I feel as if there is a light within me. A shining bright light that could fill up the empty spaces in my heart. It brings me joy to write as it is my passion, my life. My characters, my stories, they’re the reason for my being. How could I not pen them to life?
And then there are those days..
The days when I feel as if nothing I write will ever come to fruition. Nothing can be done about this horrendous thing I’ve written. “Why did I think this was great?” I’d lament, “Why did I ever think it was a good idea to write about this?” I would fall into despair. These are also the days when I’ve seen someone write a story that is similar to mine, the plot, the characters, even the names, and they’ve published it. And I? I am here struggling to put words onto paper. I’m struggling to fill the glaring screen. These are the days the emptiness in my heart breaks through the cracks, and crawls out to attempt to shatter my heart. Why ever would anyone want to read about my characters, my stories when they can get something better elsewhere?
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s my anxiety growing and consuming me. Maybe it’s my self-doubt threatening to overpower me. Maybe it’s my pessimism overcoming optimism.
Today, today is one of the bad days. Today I read a book that had all the elements of the story I was going to write. Today I thought, “Why bother trying? Nobody cares about your writing!” Today I felt as if I could not ever raise my characters right. Today I felt as if I would let them down. Today I felt as if I would let everyone down.
And so today, I would sit down, and I would write this, and I would try, and try to remember the things I loved so much about writing. I say loved, and not love, because today, in despair, I could not love until I remembered how I loved.
Today, in despair, I could not remember, because in despair, nothing would matter but the darkness that surrounds me. Nothing would matter but the cracks breaking apart. Nothing would matter.
Today, hold my hand. Say not that tomorrow will be a better day. Say not that things will be alright. Just hold my hand, and say, “I’ll be there for you.”
And I would write up a storm, to remind me that with the bad days, there will be the good days. Some day, one day, today.
Thank you for reading.
As I finish writing this, I realize that the good days and the bad days apply not only to writing, but to all aspects of my life. There are the good days, when things will go well, and you’re okay with the world. There are also the bad days, when all you want is to curl up on the bed and cry. There are days when you’re happy and whole and there are days when you’re alone and broken. With the highs there will be the lows.
But we hope for, we wish for, we pray for, the eventual peak again. And there we go again. But what if there’s no peak? Well, that’s another story for another day, and one you’ll have to ask me in person. Because I have a theory for that. The peak that never comes. Maybe one day I’ll write it. Maybe one day when I’m more confident. Because as you know, today is not that day.
p/s: Beautiful drawing by Lauren Purje.