80% of my texts start in some random situations. I have a lot of great ideas when I cook, take a bath or go to sleep. The more often I decide, ‘okay, it’s your moment to relax, no internet, no nothing‘, the more often I feel compelled to grab the phone and catch my fleeting thoughts.
I have many beautiful journals, calendars and planners (some of them even with ‘My Pink Bananas’ stickers on top), but most of my writings begin as text messages sent from one phone to another. When a great reflection comes, it claims to be instantly saved. A belief that I could remember my inspiration a few hours later usually turns out to be wrong.
My drafts are typically entirely chaotic. They probably wouldn’t make any sense for a random person, but I love all of them. My recent favorite one says:
write with a pen
If I ever When I finally write a book, I will put it on one full page – as a poem – to pay tribute to all these little moments of enlightenment that inspired me to sit down and work on my lines.
I love writing. I’ve been doing it all my life. I’ve started writing my first book when I was 8. When I found some fragments of it not so long time ago, I was surprised by how nice my words were. I have no idea how eight-year-old girls sound, but I guess you couldn’t recognize one there.
I don’t remember how I felt at that time, but I am sure that writing for me has always been comforting (when things were already on paper). The process itself I would rather consider as very tough and very confusing.
It is like with running. Do I like running? Not really. Do I like the feeling AFTER running? Yeah, it’s amazing.
“Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They talk about their “morning ritual” and how they “dress for writing” and the cabin in Big Sur where they go to “be alone” – blah blah blah.
No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver.”*Amy Poelher, Yes please
People say that the best way to improve your writing is to read and write. Alternately. Repeatedly. With commitment.
Essentially, if you want to find your voice, you need to read different stories. If you want to find your taste, you need to try different dishes. And obviously, cook a lot. Easy.
But in the whole concept, there is one obstacle…
Imagine you want to be a master chef. One day you’re preparing a fantastic meal for your colleagues. You choose only fresh ingredients, and everything’s tasty, people are impressed, you’re proud of yourself. You’ve never cooked something like this in your entire life. You feel motivated, excited and ready to learn new stuff.
And then, bang. The next day you visit a Michelin-starred restaurant. You put a tiny portion of the starter to your mouth and you feel: OH MY GOD, actually, THIS is amazing. My meals taste nothing like that. I will never achieve this level. There’s no chance I’ll ever cook something so unbelievably delicious.
Sometimes, I have that feeling when I read some texts of exceptional writers. It’s tough.
But then I realize that I do not read to compare. I read to enjoy.
Matching the results of my step 15 to someone’s step no. 1230 does not make any sense. It’s like comparing a random kid from primary school with a university professor. Pointless.
Do you know how many books the average author from New York Times Best Seller List had written before one of his books became classified as a bestseller? Around 14.
F o u r t e e n.
And then I think about polyglots who only knew how to say ‘good morning’ when they’ve been starting to learn a new language.
Phew. Forget about polyglots. I think about me. One year ago, I could not even build a full sentence in Spanish. Right now, I AM SPEAKING. I mean, sí, mas o menos.
Everything is a process.
Understanding that your actions are the most valuable currency in the world as well.
I work on it every single day. I take my pink and yellow banana steps every time I can. And I successfully learn accepting the fact that fruits don’t come the day I plant.
I am not sure where I am going in that crazy journey, but there’s one thing I can promise you right here, right now.
I will mistake it till I make it.
And I will go as long as it needs to come.