You never know where to start. You have wanted to write something personal about your own history with video games for awhile now, but can’t seem to find the right words. It’s a matter of having a great opening line, you know that much.
After staring at the empty screen for a few minutes, you do a search for one of your favorite writers and read through several essays she wrote. It’s all as good as you remember it being. Better now, maybe, since you have tried something similar and, so far, are failing at it. There is something about her style that makes you both uneasy reading it and yet utterly hooked by every word.
You have been thinking about how you would follow the same format. You know you need some event from the past that is connected to a video game somehow. The best essays, you begin to think, are usually ones about something sad. There don’t seem to be too many happy essays out there about video games, at least not ones you remember now.
Going back to one of her essays, you cringe slightly at the ending. You have never been comfortable with that level of emotional nudity. It must take a great deal of self-confidence, you imagine, to write about pleasures and pain at such a depth and with such a frequency. It must be very exhausting.
You look at what you have so far. It’s not much, certainly not enough to satisfy any sort requirement her editors would have. You should probably stop comparing yourself with her, you realize. You are two totally different people. She has been writing for years at a professional level and you are struggling to get a few words done per day on a blog. With one last look, you close that tab and come back to your own work.
It’s hard for you to write anything about yourself. You have to get really angry to build up the passion needed to write about your past. You consider if that’s how other writers do it too. Maybe they get worked up about something to the point they are about to burst and then pour out all of their frustration into words. You quickly try to think about something to be mad about.
There are injustices in the video game industry, certainly. There seems to be a new story every week that makes you sad to be associated with video games. One group of people is mistreating another. A person in a prominent position said something insensitive. You wonder if it was always like this. You have only been paying attention for a few years now. Perhaps the stories were happening and you have only recently been reading about them.
It has always seemed silly to you to write about a problem instead of trying to solve it. Given the amount of posts most major sites generate per day, it seems as if any story, even the really deplorable ones, only lasts a few days at most. Then, it’s back to whatever latest video or glitch will catch the attention of people for a few minutes.
You are still unsure what to write about. It’s an hour later and all you have done is confuse yourself. You read some good essays, ones you already knew were good, and then thought about writing some. It’s something you find yourself doing frequently: thinking about writing more.
You want to write something meaningful, to move people in some way. You take your fingers away from the keyboard and think about if other writers go through this same torture. You want to connect to people with your words, yet can’t find a way to even begin. You wish you were a better writer, then wonder if this process would be worse if you were any better.
It’s not a happy thought to end on, you know that, but you need to go back to work now. You spent some time writing for the day. You accomplished something. Perhaps that is all the other writers do too. Maybe they go through the same daily fight and end up at the same place you do. It’s not a pleasant thought.