I am a writer!

I am a writer!

You have to say it out loud, write it every day, tell it to strangers on a bus and for your family who keeps judging you constantly. You have to shout it out loud in the middle of the night even if it means waking up the innocent neighbors. Every morning right after waking up whisper those four magical words ten times. Sooner or later it will become the truth. This is the most important lesson I have learned during the last three years.

I have always been a writer. In primary school, I struggled when we started to learn writing and reading.  It was easy for everyone else but I just couldn’t do it. I was one of the last kids in my class who passed the reading test. After I got a hold of the writing nothing could stop me. My parents put me on a weekly writing club and I attended there for seven years. Writing become my passion.

Then I went to high school. I was too old for the writing club and my school days lasted from early morning until late evening. There was not enough time for writing my own stories when I had to do the essential school projects. My mind was lost but I kept going.

Years went by, I graduated from high school, took a year off from school, started blogging and applied to study business in university. I wrote when I had time but it felt just so useless. Painful even. Creative writing was my thing but it would never be my future, right?

Two years ago everything changed quickly. I was starting to make some money as a freelance writer. My free time was filled with me writing everything and anything all the time. Then one afternoon in school our teacher asked the important question that was going to change everything. In fact, that question is the reason I decided to drop out of my university and pursue writing as a possible career option.

“What is the one thing that you are good at?”

I didn’t have to think. My thing was writing, it had always been. When it was my turn to answer, I told that exact thing for an auditorium full of people. I am good at writing. Six months later that short sentence changed to even shorter and life-changing one: I am a writer. I had dropped out of my business studies and found out that you can study creative writing in Finnish open university as a major even if you can’t do that in normal university.

After starting my creative writing studies and after getting hooked on writing guides for the first time in my life, I quickly noticed that everyone was telling me to start from an easy task to become a real writer. Say it to yourself: I am a writer. Not a good writer, not a bad writer, just a writer. Anyone can be a writer as long as they have a notebook and pen, computer or just phone. It starts with telling it to yourself and everyone around you. I am a writer. I will keep writing. This is what I want to do and so I will keep trying as long as it takes.

That’s why I started this new blog and decided to share my thoughts on the internet. I want to scream it for everyone who has the patience to listen to me. I am a writer. Can you hear me? Writer. Someone who writes. That person you can see writing in cafes, sitting on a park bench with a notebook or scribbling to her phone in full bus. I’m a blogger who will be happy as long as she can keep writing for the rest of her life.

I am a writer.

When you can’t read – Chronic Illness

It’s mid-summer and I find myself reading a book at my mum’s backyard. Sun caresses my skin while the wind makes the heat bearable. For most readers and writers this moment may seem ordinary but for me, it’s far from that. When I say “I find myself reading a book” it’s a complete truth.

It’s mid-summer and I’m not 100% sure what has happened during the last few months. My mind is full of short memories but they don’t fit in together. So many days have just disappeared forever. One thing is sure – reading has been impossible without feeling like dying afterward. Doing the one thing I love more than anything has been impossible.

That’s chronic illness for you.

Three years ago I lost my ability to do anything. For weeks I couldn’t even stand on my own. After that my life has been a hell that only I can feel. In theory, living is possible – if you can survive on your own without dying apparently it’s not a real problem. But at the same time for me, everything has been pure darkness.

Like reading.

I have always loved reading. At some point in my life, I read 7 books per week. It was my lifestyle. Books and reading were everything I wanted to do before my chronic illness took over. Of course, I was still able to read. But not like before.

If I decided to read it meant doing nothing else on that day. And when I started reading it would get harder after every page. One chapter. Then I had to stop. One chapter. Break. One chapter. Break. One chapter. What did I read last time? Can’t remember, go back. Is this really worth the pain and suffering?

My chronic illness took away the one thing I love most. Or well, in fact, two of those things. Writing – the other love of my life. For the last three years, I have been stuck with poems. Something short before the headache and fatigue take over. Imagine your life in 10-minute cycles. That has been me for the last 3 years – some months better some a lot worse.

But today I opened a book and read, read and read.

It’s giving me hope. Maybe this time I will truly get better? Maybe this time they have truly found out what’s causing this to happen? I’m hoping so much it’s hurting. Not only because living three years in hell at your early twenties feels such a waste. No, I’m hoping because this year my dreams are finally coming true and being chronically ill stands between me and the world I want to conquer.

I decide to read one more chapter. Just one more because today may be the last time I’m still able to do it. No one knows what happens tomorrow but I have hope. Hope that there are still thousands of books waiting for me to read them.

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

Laini Taylor