I fell into the world of words by chance, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, equally confused and fascinated by the newfound stirring around – and within – me.
I was given the opportunity to go to a literary camp back in junior high. I didn’t understand why exactly they’d picked me. I’d never felt any particular pull towards writing and I’d not distinguished myself with any of the articles that somehow ended up in the school magazine. In hindsight, the way I understood a good article should be written was flawed at its core. At the time, there was nobody to tell me that while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, that doesn’t however make the original piece valuable or worthy of such compliment.
It took me a few more years after that fateful camp (and later on returning for a second year) to crystalize a style that was my own instead of relying on the knowledge that other people’s writing had already been validated by public opinion and was therefore safe. Blogging was where I found myself, even while there were other pieces taking form offline that I’ve still not found the courage to show.
Vulnerability comes in degrees, so the moments to reveal your raw and hidden sides will need to be scoped and seized as they present themselves. Being mindful instead of being regretful is an approach I can adhere to now, after looking back on years of missteps and mistakes.
Being aware of others at the same time as staying true to yourself remains the greatest challenge as long as the writing is meant for an audience and not destined for secrecy in some dusty diary hidden under piles of useless papers. I tackle it every time I sit down to write something new: will this touch anybody? will it offend someone? will it simply be ignored? And always: is this any good? and what will the ones reading it think of me?
It sometimes gets to be such a balancing act that despite my impulse to publish a post immediately, I have to remind myself to take a breath (and maybe sleep on it), revisit and refine before sending something into the world that has a high chance of being misinterpreted. The risk could never be reduced to zero, but a rational mind will still try.
The questions I mentioned earlier, those I’m sure will never truly be silenced either. Should one even try to do so completely, if one is to remain humble and continue to strive for betterment?