Posted by: According to Accordions | February 5, 2008

A Letter to Myself: To Write, To Read, To Be Content

Dear That Which Ticks and Resides Within Me,

In hindsight, an action is never perfect. Action seems proper while being done, but retrospection reveals a previously hidden cache of problems. Yet, for once in my life, I do not believe so. In terms of academics and effort, I am content.

The woes of last year did not return. Squabbles with the future were precluded by experience. Talking back and writing with “a voice” became mere pleasantries in this class. Where I was once bitter, I am now disciplined and determined. I will never forgive myself for my ineptitude in my freshman English class. Never.

I did not have to this time. The semester of 2007, with a morsel of 2008, has been relatively decent. The class’s students explored more deeply into books than my previous class had. We joined together in knowledge and insight, sharing the wrong information or the right interpretations. Neither joy nor delight fills me. Instead, I am content, with my own effort, and my own determination.

My creed of the previous year (my Honors English 1 Teacher made his students write manifestos) depicted an ocean of writing. Daily, I would swim with thought bubbles and cajole murky memories into my head. Then my mind span a typhoon of words and created a work, an essay, artwork. I vowed to become a better writer. “Read,” I told myself, “ and write. Memorize vocabulary words. Think, discuss- experience.” And somehow, during my blind faith, I believed I could instantly attain the prowess of, say, Anna Quindlen without working. So I doomed myself to failure and fear; I would never reach Anna-Quindlen-status; Each essay frightened me, for I was perpetually ill-prepared.

Not this year. No longer do “I should’s” or “Maybe’s” plague me. “I am doing’s” create articles for my blog. “I care” summons up internal strength needed to write for a newspaper. “I-am-doing-this-because-I-really-love-to-write’s”, well, it should be self-explanatory.

So, I did start on a journey of writing. Everyday brought about a mental trek. An article a day keeps ignorance away, said the motto of my blog. Truthfully, I received more than deferred ignorance. The boons of practice were far and wide, from imaginary mountain cliffs to practical writing formats. Word began to trickle with no end or beginning- they just were. And, after every written article, blog entry, or short story, a feeling of satisfaction would creep into me, and I would be happy. I scaled mountains of procrastination and boredom to write. Just as adrenaline pumps throughout a runner after a marathon, a tide of literary profoundness flowed within me.

But I have not mastered the discipline of reading. My body will not cooperate- three pages of Maugham leave me soporifically drowsy or downright insane. I can stomach the occasional essay, but engaging novels, such as The Fountain Head and Of Human Bondage, leave me with literary indigestion. But, then again, if I can force myself to write, why can I not do the same for reading? Oh, the inconsistencies.

I am not one to dote over academic merit (thought it is nice, however). Instead, merit is only “merit” when worked for, else it belongs to pretentiousness. For once in my life, I can say I have worked to become a better writer. For once, I need not worry about massive two-day preparations for essays. For once, I am calm and collected, cool and content.

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  1. […] A Letter to Myself (The idea for this post was entirely ripped from this guy.) […]


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