You Are Nothing Until You Begin Again

The discovery that wanting to write is not the same as being perceptive of words.

You should know that I fumbled for a good 10 minutes finding the right words to suit the idea of this article. It’s certainly not easy to write when you’re struggling with stress and anxiety. Navigating the world of well-deciphered sentences alongside the scare of being labeled uninspired is challenging. But in hindsight, this fear bodes well with the objective of wanting to write and participating in the spectacle of poetic grammar that I’m so passionately fond of.

I must have written less than 50 articles, for myself, in my 21 years of living. Maybe 20 or 30. Even though I write more than my fair share as a freelance content writer, I never once understood the urge to keep on writing, for myself, daily. When the words came to me, I set out to either type my thoughts down on a blank document staring right through my fears or handwrite a scribbled and haphazard draft in a notebook. Saying it wasn’t easy for me to do this daily might sound like I’m defeating the entire purpose of wanting to write in the first place. However, it wasn’t simple. At the time, when I just started writing for myself, I was torn between my ability to write and my ability to think clearly.

How the grief and frustration in my life taught me to stop and take a breather, it also hampered with my crispness in translation and focus in execution. On most days, it interrupted my reflective state, while on some days I felt well-absorbed in my frame of mind to compose. The constant struggle emptied out all my thoughtful thoughts and weakened my sense of perceptiveness, not in understanding, but for the translation of thoughts on paper or in print.

To write, to read, and to create is necessary. All else is distraction.

In the midst of struggling with such deep feelings and emotions, I rarely composed articles that met my expectations. And when I did write such a piece, I sighed in relief and was well-pleased with my efforts in doing so. But that rush of positivity lasted for a short time bringing back the guilt of an unfinished goal. Until weeks later I decided to pen down another. This cycle kept persevering for months on end, and a result I failed to write even a single article in 2017. That was the epitome of me “letting go.” Which, to my surprise, wasn’t how I anticipated it would be.

Such regrets can destroy your self-esteem in ways you wouldn’t imagine. If not controlled, they culminate in inhibitions that eventually start showing face in every aspect of your life only because they’re weakening your ability to write anything. As much as I expected myself to defeat these inhibitions, the solution was to eventually outrun them. And so I’m trying. Instead of spending a long time on the things that I thought really mattered to me, I vow to spend time on things that could. It’s a tough road, but a necessary one. By disconnecting and destroying my past practices, I’m redefining what creation is and meant for.

One of Graham Greene’s quotes come to mind,

“Destruction is a form of creation.”

If you’ve seen Donnie Darko, it’s hard to miss the moment when Donnie says this in a classroom full of young cynics.

My hope may not be to live a better life, but to value self-reflection and to unblur the blurred subject of mind expansion so it’s possible for an ordinary person like me to choose to create something out of the ordinary. I do hope, however, to understand the tricks to outrun restraint and beat the hollowness that comes with feeling inadequate at the recognition of words that have the power to compose the greatest stories. And this is the beginning of the stories I can give you. It is my beginning.

“You are nothing until you decide, over and over, that you must begin again.”