My dream was to become a writer. The first step to reach that dream is pretty obvious: to write. And so, I did. I began writing a book, then I stopped, not because of writer’s block (which, in my humble opinion and mostly inexistent experience, is complete bullshit), but because I thought I should practice my writing first. So, I began to write short stories, in series, each one with 10 chapters, 20 pages each. In total I had 40 stories, or 400 chapters and 800 pages. I created a blog, because I thought, besides practicing my writing, I should post what I had been writing. I thought someone would read them, maybe, who knows, some publisher could be interested. I believed the stories were good and that the publishers would be interested in someone who can write fast and wouldn’t miss deadlines.
I kept the blog for almost a year, with new stories every Friday. I wrote a lot, made a real effort to come up with stuff, characters, situations, scenes, descriptions… After some time, I began posting reviews about comic books and TV shows. It was all for nothing. In almost a year, there wasn’t even one access per day. I lied to people about my readership, trying to convince myself everything was ok. The truth is that it was a real tragedy, a blow that finished off what was left of my self-esteem.
Actually, to call it “self-esteem” is a joke, I don’t even think the term “low self-esteem” quite covers it.
Nobody read what I had written, nobody cared about what I was doing. Against all odds, I didn’t quit. I mean, I abandoned the blog, but not the dream of becoming a writer. I went back to my book, continued from where I had stopped, then stopped again. I realized I could tell the story a different way, that I was being revolutionary. I turned all to first person, conversations, monologues and thoughts. No scenery descriptions, except when was indispensable to describe a place or someone, and no omniscient narrator. I don’t know if I was actually being revolutionary or not, but I thought I was, and that’s what mattered. That was a big part of why I had abandoned the book. That and my parents.
My parents deserved more of me as a human being, they deserved a better son. They didn’t deserve a person who was throwing his life away, reading and watching movies the whole day. I needed to be more, for them. Every time I thought about quitting, I remembered I was doing that for them. Every time I contemplated quitting, I thought about the reason I was doing that. I couldn’t work on what I had majored in, all I could do was follow my dream. They had always given me full support, and they had never judge me for trying to reach my goal, even if, from their perspective, all they saw was a half-grown man wasting his days. Because that’s exactly what they saw, and it’s my own fault. I’ve always felt ashamed of everything and everyone, so, I didn’t tell them I was writing a book, and never even mentioned my blog. I was ashamed of showing them that side of myself, I have no idea why. They found out I had written a book a few days after I had finished it, when I left a stack of paper (which I was correcting) on my desk. When they asked me about it, I told them everything. They were very proud, asked me questions and wanted to discuss it. And I did what I always do when I’m the subject matter, I fell silent. Monosyllabic answers and my plain bothered expression made the conversation reach its end much sooner that they expected, but much later I wanted.
After that book, I wrote eight more, in an average of almost more than two a year. I was always able to write very fast. I sent them to contests and publishers. My parents always had my back. They enjoyed seeing I was doing something I liked. All I got was negative answers. I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t live of what I wanted, of what I thought I knew how to do. That was the end for me. I spent months doing nothing but feeling terrible. Nothing had ever worked for me in my life, why should that be different? I was useless, a fool, a talentless dreamer, with no money and no skills to make it right. All I knew how to do, the only talent I had, was suffering.
Hell, for most part, is very similar to my life. A place of suffering.