Warning: this post may not be for over the age of 16/18. Do with it what you want.
A few days ago I learned a humble lesson. I’m nowhere near as good as I thought. Sure, I have talent. I can emphatize with my characters without trying to hard. It doesn’t take long for me to find out their thoughtproces, even if they are different from me. Or so I’d like to think. I do know I am a peopleperson in the sense that I quickly have a grasp of what someone is like within meeting them at first. I’d like to think this reflects my writing. I also have some pretty cool aspects of ideas. That’s right. I said aspects.
My problem is that even though I have been writing stories since I was nine, I’ve never actually finished one. Except for three short stories, but I’m not counting those. Actually I always start my stories blank. I have a lot of free writing sessions and in the middle I just stop. Because I’ve lost interest, but also because I have no idea of how it will unravel. I’ve never actually planned out a story, which may be the reason I’ve started so much and finished so few. Sure, I’ve had my core ideas. Sometimes I did know where I was going, like my NaNoWriMo 2013 project. I just didn’t know how to fill the gaps.
I can’t afford this. In four days I have to pitch my story as an assignment for my Creative Writing class. A story that I thought of to challenge myself, unable to realize that even a basic thing as thinking of an idea for every single scene is a challenge for me. I have to get over this. If I’m completely honest with myself I’m studying Journalism to become a writer. But how can I ever be a writer if I can’t create a synopsis that describes every scene that happens in my story?
Amy says I just have a different way of working. She’s probably right. If I were to have it my way I would have started the story, get guided by the flow and write the synopsis after I’m done. This wouldn’t have been a problem if they didn’t change the assignment. Or wouldn’t it have been a problem? Perhaps I would write a couple of scenes and leave it be again, because I couldn’t figure out where it was going anymore.
My synopsis is now done. I don’t know if it’s written to my best extend. The story I’m writing is a story I want to tell, but it doesn’t feel like my story. It’s about a student named Matthijs that seems to have it all. A beautiful girlfriend, a nice group of friends and a good future ahead of him. He’s a normal boy for his age, but there’s one thing that doesn’t work for him: sex. This is because he’s carrying a deep secret from his past that may just destroy everything he holds dear.
Spoiler alert: it’s about sexual abuse. I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into. I wanted to challenge myself as a writer and person to write about sex. When people think of me sex isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I’m not living the typical student lifestyle. I regret that sometimes, but something holds me back from doing it. I guess it must be my fear of commitment. Don’t worry, thank god I never had to go through what Matthijs has to go through. I just don’t know if my story is any good. I’m so insecure about it. I don’t know if the synopsis is any good and I have to sell this like I’m presenting it to a publishing company.
Don’t get me wrong. I have an urge to tell this story. I was intruiged by the boys mind and how they always seem to think about some form of sex. I thought it was interesting to write about a student boy that very much is part of the student life, but has trouble with sex. Even if he does think about it. Sexual abuse and rape are a terrible thing. You don’t have to read this blogpost to know that. It does get coverage in the media. However, it is never about men. There seems to be an ever bigger taboo about men being sexually abused. This interested me. I was greatly inspired by this post on 9gag, which still gives me a lump in my throat.
I think I need all the luck in the world to present this story in front of my whole class. But I’m going to do it and it’s all going to work out. And it’s going to be an achievement for me, because I’ve looked past my boundaries and anxiety and presented a brave story that does need to be told. Again, it’s not my story, but it’s the story of Matthijs and how he struggles with being normal and doing what society tells him to do. I think I can at least relate to that. I hope I will do it justice.