20.11.14

Commitment - Gamophobia

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is something that I have been wanting to take part in for a few years now. I've felt that as someone who considers themselves as a writer, it is a right of passage to complete 50K, and that getting the certificate at the end proves something.

 In some cultures, people are sent on quests to find out who they are, the same with sororities and frat houses, but I never got to experience any of that! I never stick to anything long enough to say 'hey I'm part of this,' I didn't even get the chance to take the Brownie Oath, because I quit two days before my initiation ceremony! Commitment is weird, I avoid it at all costs, once you're tied to something, you can't just take it back, change your mind or walk away; you always have to take it into consideration, which is part of the reason why I quit the Brownies. I loved going, but I freaked out when I had to get a uniform and stuff because it meant I was part of something, and I didn't want to be part of anything, relying on myself is what I did (and do) best, nothing was going to mess that up.

I quit numerous other clubs/after school activities too, due to much of the same reasons, and I really regret that, because for the most part, I actually had fun doing them. I was bad at Netball, I was as graceful as a potato when it came to ballet, and I didn't have the discipline for Karate, but I didn't care because I was having fun. However that fun disappeared when I was asked to join the Netball Team, when the ballet instructor said I was ready for my first pair of ballet shoes, and even when the Karate teacher wanted to put me forward to get a belt - as much I wanted to say 'yes yes yes' and get the chance to stand up in a school assembly so everyone could clap for me, I said no because I didn't want to be committed to anything, and somewhere a long the line, this notion has been embedded into who I am as a person, it has it's own little shelf in the cupboard that makes up my personality, and no matter how much I try to clear it out, its still sitting there, waiting to strike again.

Fear has stopped me from doing so many things in life, but I've decided that it is no longer going to be an option for me anymore, which is why I am taking part in this years NaNoWriMo. I know that I'm a 'writer' it's what I do, it's my thing, I haven't been through any 'welcome to our club' process, but I wish I could, because I'm now ready to commit to something. I had fun at Brownies, but I never really saw myself as an actual Brownie.  I see myself as a writer, I have been a writer my entire life, I just never saw it.

I signed up for many societies during Freshers week, but then never paid the membership. I so badly wanted to be a member of something that I just put my name down for anything and everything, in the hopes of finding something remotely interesting to commit to. But commitment doesn't work that way, if it did, I would probably be married by now (thats a post for another time) and you can't just fake it till you make it, eventually everything will start to fall away from beneath you, that fake interest will wither, the illusion of commitment will die, and you will be left alone.

You need to really have interest in what you are doing, in order to be committed to it, otherwise it just doesn't work. I am currently taking a module at university that involves script writing, and I hate script writing, I have barely turned up to any of the classes, I have done zero percent of the work, and even though it's my final year, I really don't care. I signed up for the module because it was described as something else, novel writing, experimenting with form, structure, that kind of thing - nothing about playwriting. I can't change modules now, I am approximately twenty weeks away from completing my degree, and even though I have this fear looming over me, and I am panicking over forcing myself into doing the work, nothing is going to make me commit to it, because I have absolutely no interest. It's a catch 22 situation. What I need and want, is completely different to my interests, and you cant just change that over night.

Committing is hard, it's scary, and even though I am terrified of it, I am slowly learning about it's meaning. You can be committed to things without even realising it. You don't need a uniform, or a pair of shoes, or even a certificate to prove that you are dedicated - sure it helps, but at the end of the day, your passion and enthusiasm, is what makes you part of something. Commitment is about learning who you are, what you love, who you love, it's you saying 'I enjoy this, I want to see this through, this is what makes me, me." I'm almost three years into my degree (in creative writing) and I have only just begun to feel comfortable with calling myself a writer. I am ready to say that, that is who I am, there are aspects of it that I love, and and aspects of it that I hate, and I'm okay with that. It's all part of the learning process.  I may also only be three thousand words into NaNoWriMO, with ten days to go, but hey, that learning process is a curve. I'll get that certificate next year. 

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