I’m fairly sure being a friendless loser for most of my life has made me a worse writer.
I find poetry easy, like putting together pretty sounding phrases about loneliness and isolation and the end of the world. I love writing lyrical stanzas about the inside of my head – but I’m beginning to worry that it’s all I can write.
Growing up, I struggled to make friends. I spent most of my time indoors, reading. It seemed logical to me that when I grew up I’d be an author – I even dressed up as one for National Book Day, because I’ve always been kind of a dickhead.
But I don’t know how to write about other people from outside their head.
I’m in my first year of a creative writing degree (ikr I’m so privileged god) and we’re concentrating on writing short stories at the moment. This has turned out to be incredibly difficult. I want to write dynamic plots and exciting dialogue, but all I can manage is character-based monologues and monotonous cliches.
I’ve written the same awful, angsty story about a lesbian couple who break up about fifty times. I have no experience with this! I’ve only dated guys, and even then, not for like five years. That’s probably why everything I’ve written feels so thin and unreal. Writing poetry about depression and anxiety and loneliness is easy because I’m writing what I know. Writing happy stories where things actually happen? It’s so far removed from what I know that I can’t work out how I’m supposed to write it. At all. It’s becoming a genuine problem.
I have friends, now. They’re lovely. I’ve started having to actually write things into my calendar because I have so much on I’d forget about them if I didn’t. That might sound perfectly ordinary to you, reading this, but it’s very new to me.
But having friends now doesn’t make up for their lack in my formative years.
I’m going to keep trying. I don’t want to waste the opportunities I’ve been given – I live in London, I have friends, I can afford to go to university, my family loves me.
I just wanted the universe to have an explanation for why I struggle so much with this.
All the best.xx