I am getting excited about writing again like that time, three years ago, when I started this blog and wrote my first blog post. It felt like a liberation. Back then I was too hungry for self-improvement and success to worry about rejection or the intimidation that a blank page often brings. I just wrote. But last year, around this time, Iowa University sent me a rejection letter in response to my application to their prestigious MFA in Creative Writing programme.
I was devastated. Well, at least a bit wounded.
It didn’t matter that I’d got into two programmes in the UK. The MFA program at Iowa University was what I wanted. I put aside creative writing for a while. The only serious project I took on was a pregnancy journal I began on the day I found out I was expecting. About twice a week, I’d document the exciting journey of carrying baby Niya inside me. The journal was her gift and a necessary outlet for me on those days when I felt compelled to record experiences like me bingeing on mangoes so green their flesh looked almost white. Or that time at 20 weeks when Gregory and I saw Niya for the first time via an ultrasound.
Several experiences I’ve had since returning to Jamaica in January though have helped me get back into the groove of things. For instance, thanks to my friend and editor, Robyn, I started reading a book called Write Your Heart Out. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to write. It doesn’t matter if you think you aren’t smart enough, or if you feel life is too busy. In fact, the book begins by exploring misconceptions that often prevent us from writing and yes, believing “real writers” are more intelligent or have more time to write are some of them.
Writers don’t have more brains or time to write, necessarily. What they have is a commitment and lots of grit. They learn how to deal with setbacks. I’ve heard of so many writers who had publishers send them dozens of rejection letters before their books became bestsellers. J.K. Rowling comes to mind.
And even this post got interrupted by Niya (more than once) since I began writing it yesterday.
Regardless of the pursuit you’ve chosen (or the ones that have chosen you), I’m urging you to begin again. Let your soul imagine. Let your fingers create. Invite your heart to feel again.