When I started college, I used to describe myself as a writer. Whenever we had to do some awkward icebreaker, “I write” was my hobby. If I wanted to connect with someone, I would try to mention “my writing” more than I should have and with a lot more conviction than I implemented into said hobby. Was I lying? Not really, I wrote all throughout high school. Yet as a freshman in college, I wrote half-finished cathartic descriptions of being a teenager, short stories with no substance, and the occasional witty sentence in a paper. Freshman Year was when I stopped being a writer.
I do not necessarily know why I stopped being a writer, but I know that if it was not a piece that I was obligated to write for a blog or for school, I would shut down every time I saw a blank piece of paper. The vicious cycle of incomplete paragraphs would occur over and over, and this crippling fear would come over me saying that I lack the strength and the will to write. In reality, I did not lack that strength; I lost it.
I lost it in between the suitcases I brought to my freshman dorm and in the horrible parties that haunt every first-time college kid. I lost it in a room full of talented writers awaiting to hear a voice I did not deem fit for the world. I even lost it in every late night conversation I had with a friend that drained every eloquence I would have usually saved up for the written word. By changing into someone I thought was more mature, I lost my will to write.
The loss of this will created a void that I have been filling ever since. I have filled it with more books, more late night conversations, and probably a lot of coffee. I have also filled it with tears, rants, and a couple of breakdowns that culminate every cheesy coming of age narrative. I filled it with resumes and plans, fear for the future, but comfort in who I am.
Now, I think I can write again. Now, I write for myself.
I stopped using writing as an icebreaker. I stopped using writing as a hobby. I started using writing as something purely for me. I have built myself up and discovered who I really am so that I can finally use writing as the strength that it should be instead of the defense mechanism it never was.
I stopped being a writer, but after almost three years, I think I can finally write.