I’ve always strived to control my writing. I wanted my writing to say exactly what I wanted it to say–nothing more, nothing less. The more concise my words were, the better I would feel about myself. I did not want to be the Anne Shirley of my companions any longer; flowery language indoor only, please. But then I realized that my strictly formal essay writing format was doing exactly what I didn’t want to do when I began writing for myself: saying a whole lot of nothing.
In my attempt at political correctness, neutral language, safe topics, non-personal incidents and the like, I ended up writing about some other ‘me’, a me who was not me. And the sad part of this all is that I started to write so I could get outside of myself, stop fantasizing in my mind and start making my worlds into something tangible that I could read and carry. The more I said what I didn’t want to say, the more I said what people could possibly handle to hear, the more pointless my words felt; the more they felt like a very tiny hydrogen atom in a massive ocean full of H2O.
So here I am now, trying to teach myself to write freely, to stop every time my brain says, ‘Nope, don’t say that’ and actually ask myself why I shouldn’t, and why no one should know how I feel about anything at all. And perhaps, if I ask myself enough times, I will stop censoring my own words, my own thoughts and opinions, and come closer to the thing I was looking for in my writing: