A Letter of Confidence
It was a brooding, dark-clouded autumn evening. I was sure that the sky above was on the verge of crying its miseries away. I, too, could feel what they felt. I was trying to rain myself. To write is to rain: there is a heavy matter which cannot be condensed any longer, so it is precipitated in an outright, abounding, prolific way. Like the rain quenches the earth’s thirst and washes away bad things, it quenches my thirst to express meaningful things, and to order my thoughts and feelings. I was concerned. I had not let out a single dribble, contributing to one of my ‘meaningful’ stories, for months. I waited, in my seemingly continuous pale grey cloud temper. I did not feel much of anything, but a sort of vague depression. If I were to write, I thought petulantly, There is no one to write to but myself… Writing a story to myself is egotistical, self-centred, and falsely promoting. What is the point of writing stories if they are of use to no one? But imagination—weather—is a tenacious thing. Eventually, it will perform one of its ways.
Its first attempt took place on an autumn evening. The chilled wind made me shudder slightly, similarly to the reaction which writing gives me. It had drizzled a little; electric light twinkled on the dark road like magic. (Everyone knows that magic looks like clusters of stars, but more lively.) My imagination knows me well: it knows my loves, worries, and regrets… I think that it understood what I needed to begin with. To be a writer, I believe that one needs bravery and courage to be oneself to find their true purpose or intent.
That evening I was Gwendolen. I was her quite suddenly, and there was no questioning whether I was actually me. Her thoughts raced through her mind with her rapid heart-beat; they terrified me and caused me to run for my life. Perhaps the strangest thing about this experience my imagination imposed upon me was that I could see her face: the exact tweak of her nose, her piercing green eyes, and her pale skin which looked like it had never been touched by the light of day. I knew that she was a witch. I knew that there was a fleeting shadow demon close behind…
One Friday evening, I reluctantly sat at my desk to write. My desk was before a window; instead of writing, I stared dejectedly out of it. I got the writing quivers. My imagination turned what I saw through the window into what it wanted to show me; it wanted to remind me to perceive everything through a window which makes my thoughts imagination-influenced. I could see in the distance a tower-like structure in the night, with stars around it. It was a church partially obscured by trees, really, so that it only appeared to be a tower, but my imagination said, in its quiet silvery voice, “No, it’s not a church. It’s The Tower, which stands upon a mountain with the stars surrounding it, and the witch marches around it to the rhythm of a song inside of her head.” For a few months after this sighting of Gwendolen’s setting, I wondered what Gwendolen did at her tower on a mountain. It seemed that nothing ever happened to her there, and that she was rather lonely. She did not even know herself why she was there. And what caused her to run away from a shadow? I thought of the small release of rain—with relief but desperation. One day it occurred to me, as I was trying to force my fingers to type words, that I had not deciphered what the music inside of her head sounded like, exactly. I knew that it was rather quiet and lilting—almost like a lullaby, and that it had a very firm rhythm to make her march. Mum had recently played some of Nik Kershaw’s music. I had heard his piece ‘The Riddle’ before, but I had never read the lyrics and I did not know what they could have meant. After giving it long and deep contemplation, I believed that I had recognised ‘The Riddle’ as a story. I began to imagine how I might tell Nik Kershaw of this idea. Somehow, Nik Kershaw’s song, ‘The Riddle,’ fit into my story like a perfect puzzle piece: everything made sense. My imagination said that the song inside of her head was ‘The Riddle,’ and that the words were about the story. That spring I sent Nik Kershaw a letter by email to tell him about my possible discovery. He replied in his letter, “You are right, of course,” and asked me to send him the story once I had finished it. My imagination had successfully carried out another of its ‘ways’: it had made me imagine someone to write to. I completed the story and sent it to him at the beginning of the summer.
I like to write fictitious things to make the truths which I have discovered in my life more applicable and obtainable to others. It is sort of like a mask is put on the truth in the story, and any may choose whether to take it off or to leave it on and simply experience the story. They might have some sense of emotional release as I myself did while writing the story. When it seems like my fingers won’t move to type, and my pen is always dry of ink—when it seems that there is no point, and that writing stories is of no consequence—when I do not seem to be able to imagine or to ‘see’ anything anymore, and when I feel I am falling asleep—if I give my stories determination, patience, and care, my imagination will always get me through my struggles to write.
I know that every one of you is a writer: a real writer writes. When you feel that you have not written for months, you have ‘writer’s block,’ and that you are too afraid to be a writer, what are some ways in which you encourage your imaginations?