I Closed The Doors

I’ve been having a rough time with this blog.

I’ve been taking a creative writing college course, and it’s forced me to write in ways that I never have had to before. I had to write poetry even if I saw no beauty in the world that day. I had to write a short story even if my characters didn’t wake up on time. I had to write a play-script, for the first time in my life, and try not to get bogged down by the technicalities of my stage directions being the right font and size.
It has challenged me in all the right ways, which means it was painful sometimes.
It also means it opened me up. I had to write a 3 page memoir, and think about things that hurt me.
I consider myself to be a rather open and honest person, I don’t usually hide in my writing. As a person, yeah, I’m pretty much as guarded as they come, but with my writing, I was always so proud of how raw I was.
But then this class happened.
I started getting marked on my writing.
I started getting critiqued.
Suddenly, my writing did not automatically equal good grades on English essays or friendly praise.
There are people who are better writers than I am.
My teacher and other students at times had bad things to say about my writing.
While I always knew that these were true, and I knew that they were enabling me to grow as a writer and as a person, my ego took a hard hit.
It was hard to write a blog post without thought again.
To write without really caring what others thought, because now I knew that my writing was full of flaws.
I have blog posts written up. But they’re all too revealing, too awkward, too scary to put into the world.
My creative writing class has forced me to be naked in front of so many people.
To be vulnerable, to be broken, to be open wide.
It has taught me to take criticism without tears, to correct the flaws in my writing and take a step back to realize that it’s better now.
It didn’t happen overnight. It happened over a few months. I became more scared of the publish button. I became less eager to share.
I began to treat my blog posts like my assignments. If they weren’t perfect, they weren’t deserving. I couldn’t bare to give people a chance to see my vulnerabilities, to criticize my use of words.
So I slowed down my posts.
I didn’t have enough that I felt brave enough about.
I made things about other people. I kept myself intact, I repeated things that people already knew.
At the same time, several adults had told me in conversation about their old blogs. About how they loved blogging but it’s a thing of the past.
I realized that this blog is going nowhere and in five years it’ll be a fun thing I did as a teenager.
I realized how much I don’t want to lose this blog.
I don’t want to lose my ability to be vulnerable.
To be open.
To be raw.
To have grammar mistakes. To be offensive. To be offended.
I don’t want to close another door, after I worked so hard to keep it open.
As much as I have learnt and grown from my creative writing class, I never want my blog posts to be treated as assignments by me.
They are two completely separate things, and they are both important. They are both too important to let them have an effect on each other.
I love connecting with people. Connecting with people is ridiculously hard when you hate small talk and don’t know how to be not awkward.
I have a blog post about that, and perhaps I’ll post it in the next few days.
I hope I do.
I hope the decision has nothing to do with the grade I got on my last assignment.
Whether I pass this class with the highest marks or the lowest, I know that writing fuels me in ways that nothing else does.
That’s why I blog. That’s why I bare all for those of you who read this.
If you have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much, and you wondered for a minute where I was, then I have so much love and appreciation for you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
If you haven’t, I get it. I’m just another girl on the internet assuming everyone cares about what I think, say and feel.
Either way, I’m here now.
I can’t promise a blog post as often as I used to, but I can promise that I’m going to try to keep this door open for as long as I can.
While perfection is necessary at times, like in assignments you need a good grade on, I will try to keep perfection and it’s rude ideals away from my blog posts.

5 comments

  1. Etti, what is so great about your blog posts is that they’re written as if you’re speaking. Your pauses, misthoughts, and broken sentences are what make reading your posts as meaningful and entertaining as they are. Yes, there are rules out there for writing. Yes, your posts may not be in top form. But that’s what makes them yours. Don’t stop just because it isn’t in top form. The raw, unnerving feelings are the best. Sometimes those perfectly formed sentences are just too perfect for people’s minds to get around. Sometimes we just need to hear someone who sounds like us speak. Keep it up and don’t let yourself get bogged down by what the “experts” say.

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    1. Thank you for this comment! That’s an awesome thing to hear – that me being myself is what makes my blog posts interesting. G-d willing, I won’t let my ego get in the way of sharing my deepest thoughts. It’s people like you (and anyone else who stops to read my posts) who make me think it’s okay to keep blogging. So, keep up the reading/reacting/responding. Thanks M!

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  2. I relate to this post completely, as a fellow creative writing student. I recently got a pretty bad mark on my memoir, the piece of writing in which I was more honest and open than ever before. It was rough. I’m finally starting to get past the feeling of inadequacy, in my third and final year. I’m interested how things change once I graduate. How much longer do you have to go? I’m so glad I found your blog!
    – Tamara

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    1. Hi Tamara! I’m glad you found my blog too :). Don’t bad marks on deeply personal writings feel so intrusive? I’m still getting used to it. Sounds like you’re much farther along than I am, I’m still at the beginning, finishing up year 1. Would be happy to hear any advice you have on how to deal with it and still give it your all. Can’t wait to check out your blog. Thanks for visiting, don’t be a stranger!

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      1. So intrusive! The main thing that helped me was learning how to separate myself from my writing. Just because one of my pieces isn’t successful, doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer. I learned that success comes about when a good writer writes and writes and writes until they write a good piece of writing, if that makes sense. Also remember that first drafts of anything are usually rubbish, and I know sometimes in these creative writing courses we don’t have enough time to do a million rewrites. Just keep pushing, and know that you are capable of achieving your goals. The ones that don’t make it are the ones that give up before they get to level that they need to be at, and the only way to get to that level is to keep writing. I hope that makes sense! It’s what helped me 🙂 We’re all in the same boat here x

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