Writing for me has always been more about connecting to who I am than an ability that I have. I don’t write because I can, I write because it’s the only time I feel truly like myself.
All day I battle with myself, and whether I’m working as hard as I should be. I question myself all day long, and compare myself to other people.
This comes so naturally to them, so why not to me?
I try so hard to fit myself into a box that is not Gina-shaped. And I do try really hard, I give everything a hundred percent, but it just doesn’t click.
I’m always not enough or too much of something.
For jobs, for people.
Then I sit down at my laptop, or a writing pad, and I word vomit. I let out my deepest darkest thoughts and feelings, my sassiest comments and as cheesy as it sounds, I feel free. Because I don’t need to ask anyone any questions about how I do this or that. I don’t scratch my head in confusion wondering what I’m getting wrong. And I don’t feel my mind wondering out of boredom.
I’m engaged, I’m focused, I’m feeling something.
I always know when I’m not writing enough because I get into a funk. I go through the motions of my day. Wake up, work, eat dinner, watch a film, go to bed. Wake up and repeat. I feel myself getting heavier and heavier, getting caught up in this cycle that I can’t seem to break. I feel the self-doubt beginning to creep back in.
Then I remember I haven’t written anything in a few days, and when I do, I’m a different person.
Everything I ever needed was here all along.
And the best feeling, is when I put something out into the big wide world, and someone will message me and say that they enjoyed it, or that they feel the same. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of people; I don’t need to be trending on twitter. But if I can engage a few people, if I can make them smile or laugh during their day, it’s worth it.
I think it reminds me that we are here to connect.
We all feel alone at some point; alone with our thoughts, burdens, heartaches. But there’s nothing like sharing an experience with someone who can relate to you, because it makes you feel like maybe you aren’t alone. They might not take your pain away, but they can’t lighten the load. That’s what writing is about for me, relating to one another.
I read a novel by Belinda Jones when I was 13 years old and I found something I could relate to. It hit me so hard, that I decided this is what I wanted to do. I’ve been writing fiction ever since.
This reminded me that I need to be my true authentic self and not compare myself to everyone else around me.
I believe that we all have our true purpose, and I know that I found mine, in a bookshop in an airport all those years ago.
I just need to remember that when I lose myself again, trying to fit in a box that isn’t mine.
Because I don’t need a box, I just need a pen and a blank page.