I recently submitted this essay to a writing contest and I wanted to share it with all of you.
I’d like to thank Christina Welsh for her writing tip and the constant support.
“Let it Flow.”
For years, the idea of my writing being inspired by real life events always scared me. When I had just lost my aunt a few people would read a story or a blog post and they’d warn, “Be careful you don’t expose yourself.” This sentence terrified me to the extent that whenever I wrote something deep, I would walk away from it. Sometimes out of curiosity, I would write a short story and send it to a writing contest. It would lose, and I would never try again.
This all changed four years ago when we were celebrating my grandfather’s last birthday. We were living through a phase of constant anxiety from wondering what will happen if we lose him. I don’t know if it was grief or that deep sensation that nothing will ever be the same, but my grandfather’s bravery made me obsess about how much fear had taken from me. Therefore, when a story idea popped into my mind I just knew I needed to give writing another chance.
Few weeks later, my grandfather passed away. Instead of allowing fear to take over my writing, I received the best writing advice from a screenwriter friend Christina Welsh, “Let it flow.” It was difficult to keep a journal and let the writing flow through all the raw emotions, but Christina encouraged me to surround myself with characters and a story I loved. Therefore, I spent nights scribbling down ideas on small papers and writing random scenes. Slowly, these small notes became chapters.
When I couldn’t write I spent hours researching my characters’ worlds. I was curious to know what they would be like, “Are they friendly? Are they loved? What’s been going on in their past?” Those little details got me more invested in my writing; I was halfway through my novel when I realized I had messed up the character’s points of view. That mistake was overwhelming. However, in order to let the writing flow, I would often convince myself this was a small experiment and the story would finish soon.
One tiny step at a time, some of my old writings transformed into short stories, and they made it to several writing contests. I also opened a blog and discovered many people related to the fear I had when I first started.
From the writing that I shared on the blog, I learned that when we’re going through something painful it’s easy to think that nobody will understand us. However, opening up to others and writing our deep experiences lessens the burdens we’re secretly carrying. The fear that I had years ago of being exposed may never go away. It has slightly faded when I learned that our words and experiences matter. Words can be a real, positive force when they come directly from the heart.
Christina’s writing tip, “Let it flow” came at a time when I needed an outlet for my feelings. It has shown me the strength in creativity. It made me believe that the tiny steps we take to follow our dreams give us something to look forward to the next day. Now I move forward certain whenever things get tough I can create something new and “Let it flow.”