August 26, 2014

She looked at me. Then my exercise book. Then back at me. I searched her face for any hint of approval and there it was - her crimsoned lips had a slight curve upwards.

"I enjoyed reading every word," she said. "You are a good writer."

I broke into a wide grin. This was exactly what I needed. Writing was the only thing I ever knew of. Writing was the only thing I could do correctly. And to hear these words of approval from someone I admire so much meant a lot to me.

But this was not the end of it.

"This is both a blessing and a curse," she continued.

"A curse?" I asked, puzzled by her choice of words.

She explained to me how writers are usually the saddest people with the gloomiest thoughts because that's the only time their words could come alive.

"You don't buy a place in a reader's heart with happy endings," she reminded me. "You feel what your characters feel. If they are sad, you have to be depressed to express those words."

Actors are dramatic, deejays are expressive, singers have to be creative. And writers? Writers are lonely creatures. They wallow in sadness, they live in their own world that they made up. But they enjoy this solitude for it allows them to think.

Writers are wallflowers. Therefore, they easily learn of the feelings you try to deny, the things you hide. They call from these life experiences that runs deep in their memories to write a relatable story.

Of course, life isn't always happy - in fact you see people complain more than appreciate. This is why happy endings isn't as well-received; the only happy ending we know in life is when we die. Then again, how can we be sure that it is a happy ending?

Deep down, I knew she was right. After all, she had decades of experience. And it was true - all my stories involved some sort of tragedy happening eventually.

I wanted so much to prove her wrong. I returned home and started writing. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I wrote till my hands turned numb, till my eyelids felt as heavy as lead. I tried my best to craft a happy story, and I did. But I know it isn't satisfactory, it isn't a work that I am proud of, it isn't something I want the world to read.

Slowly, I started to believe her words. I opened up and let the monsters in, I let the darkness consume me. I finally understood how she was right. I embraced the darkest part of me; the only way for me to do what I love is to remain in this darkness.

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