After studying English Literature and Creative Writing for three years, you would assume that I am now really confident in my writing abilities. How further from the truth that could be. In my defence, my essay writing has definitely improved however most of the time I avoid writing anything creatively. I feel that side of my writing has not developed even though I have completed creative writing modules. It’s come to my attention that throughout my degree, I got better grades on critical and analytical essays rather than my creative pieces such as poetry and short stories. Potentially, this is down to the lecturer and their taste in writing. Of course, everyone likes different styles and genres. Everyone has an opinion and what you like might not be loved by someone else. This could explain the comparison between my grades even though lecturer’s should not be marking based on personal preference. However, as human beings it is hard to keep an open mind when you automatically do not take to a book or story if it’s not your cup of tea. Maybe these low grades have contributed to my lack of faith and confidence in my own creative writing.
Since starting my degree back in 2012, I have noticed that writing in my own time has dwindled to just a few poems and a flash fiction here and there. This is obviously due to a number of things such as other commitments, deadlines and of course lack of inspiration. However, even though I am more free from the pressures of university momentarily, I have not really wrote anything creatively. Since purchasing a very fancy notebook with lovely quotes from famous authors inside from New York, it’s pages remain blank. Partly because it’s so pretty I don’t want to ruin it but because I’m frightened to write in it. What would I say? Would what I write be even good enough? I think this is where your own self-belief in yourself as writer comes in. You have to believe that your writing is not a failure otherwise no one would write at all. The existence of authors would disappear if they all thought their writing was not worth the time and effort. I find it so inspiring that there are writers and bloggers who slave away everyday to get their work out there because they are so passionate and hungry. They have faith. Faith in their writing. Faith in themselves. Faith in their own abilities.
I remember attending a conference whilst at school, where several poets from the GCSE Anthology book attended to answer questions and read out their work. Regrettably I can’t remember the gentleman’s name but only what he said, ‘Words are sexy. Use them.’ At the time, my 15 year old self thought ‘What a weird thing to say?’. Now, I appreciate what he said more. Of course words are sexy. Words are used to express ourselves. We can tell a story with them. Our story if we so wish. Words are powerful and can be used in powerful ways. Maybe right now I don’t have faith that MY words are powerful or good enough. Maybe that’s something that comes with time and possibly age. But for those out there who are literally putting in their blood, sweat and tears into their writing – whatever type of writing that may be – you keep going, because once it’s finished, a piece of you will always live in that work and even though if someone disagrees or does not particularly care for it. It’s yours. You created it. And you should be proud. Always.