Writing is hard


I had the privilege of finding books very early on. Or rather, it felt like books found their way to me. I was one of those kids with a book bigger than my body eternally grasped in my sticky, chubby fingers.

Mine was not a unique story, and like many others, I eventually floated away from the words, a cold act of betrayal to my first friends.

But, the gift of language didn’t leave me, and from the beginning, I gave back to my companions, telling my own stories, the words flowing easily out of me on command for any assignment or essay.

Only around middle school did I begin writing for myself rather than for deadlines, relinquishing whatever adolescent angst requested escape from my young mind in the form of words. Even then, it wasn’t a full return to my childhood love. My journaling only came in impassioned spurts as an outlet, reprieve, and distraction.

Then, upon joining The Central Trend sophomore year, I was wrenched into a world of more writing than I had ever done— in a different style, at that.

But it was okay; writing was still natural and intrinsic, and all was well.

Sometime during the past year and a half, however, there was a shift. It was slow and gradual, but its manifestation has reached its greatest height by now.

As my writing was more demanded, in turn, my love for writing itself amplified. I didn’t feel it as it was happening, but all of a sudden, writing grew into a primal need, and it became all the more personal.

It wasn’t that my journaling or periodic editorial or column weren’t personal or authentic. It’s that more recently, the urge for those qualities has grown like wildfire, burning and spreading through the expanse of my entire being.

In this same time period, I found my way back to books too. Thus, the reunion with my old comrades was that much more forceful, compelling, and moving.

Yet, ironically, writing is harder than it’s ever been before.

My familiar friends are finally back, and they now feel more a part of my body and soul than ever before.

In front of my childhood home, there was a dying tree. Through the thirteen years I lived there, it remained, withering and drooping with the weight of existing, but existing nevertheless.

Its trunk was spindly and skinny, the bark peeling off like sad, chipping paint in a forgotten house. As a toddler, I’d giddily add to the tree’s demise, greedily grabbing at the tree’s ebbing spine for the satisfactory peel.

My ten-year-old sister would shake her head with disapproving eyes.

“You know, peeling its bark is like if someone peeled your fingernails off.”

I was stripping the tree of the very thing that held it up, and now, as each word that flows from my fingers feels like a piece of me chipping off, I can’t help but think of that tree.

The words are too intertwined with me, too essential— all the words, the factual ones, the complicated ones, and the beautiful ones. Every research paper, college essay, and dramatic column demands me to give another fragment of myself up.

This is all hard to wrap my head around because I’ve finally grown aware of how draining and soul-sucking writing has become, yet it’s also never been as invigorating, cleansing, and essential for me.

I write seven times a month for TCT, I have to write for my other classes, and I have had an exhausting flurry of college essays.

I am exhausted, but I am content, and I am free.