Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Art of Mastering Something New

A few weeks ago, I embarked on an adventure, only to discover that it'll be a long work-full journey. On my thirtieth birthday, I compiled a to-do list of things I wanted to achieve before turning forty. "Write a Book" was among those items. Let me clarify that I have no illusions of finding success in a writing career. I never even desired to parler it into a career. I simply took it up as a challenge, a way to unit the voices in my head with my daydreams and broadcast them onto the masses, a new venue for the debates between my ego and id. I have been keeping a journal for the past seven years, writing nonsense. In 2010, I started a blog to publicly spew the nonsense. But I never sat down and tried to write a book. This task always seemed daunting. I have all these stories rambling around my conscience, but they never materialize on paper. I didn't even know where or how to start. A traumatic experience in college plagued my thought process. Whenever I fancied myself a writer, I would hear the voice of my English professor ripping apart my essays as derivative, repetitive, and excessive with the use of "and". I turned to the one thing I knew best, the one thing that ushered in the light. I enrolled in a creative writing course.

In the very first class, in the very first sentence uttered by the proffessor, we are told that it is going to be difficult. If we are serious about writing, we are going to have to work hard at our craft. We have to continue writing daily in order to learn how to write. I never shy away from work, no matter how laborious. I don't mind that it'll take at least five years for my writing to get to a point where it is read-worthy. What I find the most disturbing is the fact that I really suck at it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not egotistical to I assume that I am an expert at everything. There are many things I do not do well. There are even more things I don't know how to do at all. Hello, calculus! But if I'm going to approach writing as a profession and dedicate the required time needed to call myself a writer, aren't I suppose to be good at it? I'm not saying great, but I should at least be adequate, right? And that, I'm not.

I struggle to embrace that fact that I'll have to wonder around aimlessly until I find my way. Along the journey I will stumble and fall, I will scrape my knees and bruise my arms, and I will learn how to become a writer. We tend to forget how difficult it was to master the jobs we have. We forget how long it took us to get to where we are in our professions. We forget the mistakes and missed deadlines. We forget the arguments and failed interviews. We forget the Bs and Cs. We only remember the praise and accolades. Learning a new skill is tiring, let alone mastering it. Some of us aspire for the recognition and thus preserve through the hardship with that carrot hanging in the horizon. I, on the other hand, am motivated by the learning process. I don't know if I'll get any better. I don't know how long I'll stick with it. But I do know that I will do my best to strive to lean how to master the art of writing well.

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