the joy of writing

photo credits here

by cherry

I distinctly remember sitting next to a friend named John* in primary school, right at the back of the classroom. He was the kind of friend I talked to only in class, but never made eye contact with out of the classroom. Soft-spoken, but talkative enough to keep me entertained during lessons. Sometimes, when we finished the work assigned to us, we would drift off into our own conversations. One particular instance, we decided to craft a story about our friends and us going on an adventure. Pretty typical and lame now that I think about it again, but to us back then, it was a novel idea. So our story writing began: we passed a small notebook between the two of us, each writing a short paragraph before passing it back. As expected, the story we wrote had no coherence or plot or character development whatsoever, but it was fun.

I guess you could say John was the one who showed me the joy of writing, and I still keep the book to this day. Then, I wrote because it was fun. I wrote for others to read.

As I grew older, my writing grew along with me. My initial passion to write fictional stories diminished, and I found myself writing more about my experiences and thoughts. I rarely shared my writings with others, and often, I wrote when I was feeling sad, angry or confused rather than when I was happy. Sometimes they were just short sentences, and other times they could be 2-page essays. Whatever they were, writing became a place of comfort for me, where I could rant and list out everything I felt without the fear of being judged, where I could sort out my thoughts and calm myself down. It gave me respite from the unpleasant. In a way, it was an avenue for me to think and go through the problem without actually facing it yet, so I could be better prepared for when I actually faced it. I wrote solely for myself.

A little over a year ago, I delved into the world of poetry. Poetry was vastly different from anything I’ve written before, and to be honest, I didn’t really understand it at first. Most of my “thinking-writing” was fairly straightforward and personal, so everything I wrote came naturally and it was usually left unedited. But with poetry, it took me days to complete and refine. For some, months after I’ve written it, I’d go back and edit it again. I learnt to use metaphors and line-breaks and tone to share thoughts, feelings and views. It allowed me to reflect on not just myself but also the things around me. The first time I completed a poem, I did not write for others, neither did I write to clear my thoughts. I wrote to express myself.

Haha, just a fun fact, a while ago I also wrote a prose for a boy I really, really liked. That piece, I wrote it for him.

The reasons why I write expand as I continue to write. I write for the fun of it, for others, to comfort myself, to express myself, for people dear to me. I write because I love writing.

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