My Past, Myself, Preeti, Writing

My Writing Sucks: A Blog Post

Janss Steps, Royce Hall in background, UCLA
Image via Wikipedia

For the first time since I started on my UCLA extension classes, I am wondering what made me think I could actually write.  This is the first time also I took only one class, and yet it feels as if my entire certificate for creative non fiction depends on it.  The class is for personal essays, how to write one and get published.  We have only written 5 essays but it feels as if I have written 50.  The worse part: my writing absolutely, without any doubt in my mind, sucks.  I mean it’s awful.  Instead of showing, I am telling. Instead of describing people, I am using stock characters.  And grammar? Forget about it, it looks like I stopped around 8th grade.

At first, it was easy to blame the class (teacher sucks, essays too general, no lectures, etc) and then I realized that the issue really was me.  My first topic was about my grandfather, the second about my mom and sisters opening up Ziba, the third about my difficult writing, and the fourth and fifth about cancer.  Each topic emotionally loaded for me, but more importantly not really dealt with at the time so as I began writing, I lose myself into that time period so the writing resembles that of a child.

Writing about Ziba and my dad;s drinking is just plain hard mainly because I have such mixed emotions about it.  When Ziba started, I was at UCLA and then Law school and I was 13 when my dad drank and it has had a powerful effect on me.  The main reason its hard because Ziba is in my lifeblood and I love my dad so much now, more so because he is one of the few people I know in my life who did a 180 turn in life to save his family.  I have so much respect, pride and love for him that it’s hard to look at a time when I felt nothing for him.  As for Ziba, it;s just hard to write about it because I have the guilt that I could have done so much more and that perhaps I didn’t have much to do with it for it to be successful.  In a way, maybe I am riding it coattails, but then I see my family and they just don’t see it like that and won’t let me either.

Finally, my love and cancer. This part’s the hardest just because it was so recent but more importantly it involved someone I love so completely that it’s hard to imagine being without her.  So here I am, in a personal essay class where all the essays are so personal that they don’t mean much to others because I havent dealt with my own issues, and thus the writings are full of meandering thoughts and emotions that frankly aren’t very fun to read if I was totally honest with myself.  Let’s hope I figure it out soon before I truly feel like a failure.  I am open to suggestions 🙂