a writer's wonderland

a writer's wonderland
image by dall.e 2

I have a sobering relationship with writing. Every time I sit down to write, it’s like I’m re-entering another world - will I belong or won’t I belong? 

Each time I arrive at this world’s gates, I am handed the same survival kit that contains 26 letters, 10 numbers, and 14 punctuation marks, and I have to make something worthwhile out of them in order to leave unscathed.

On my previous adventures in this land, I have written poetry, short stories, and most recently, a non-fiction piece about “wonderland”. Yet, no matter how wide my portfolio gets, I always feel like a trespasser when I visit this estate of endless ink and space. 

I worry sometimes, that somebody will spot my clothes, which are woven with grammatical errors, or my shoes that reek of inexperience, and that a team of writing instructors will be asked to escort me out of the city. But no one does, because I proudly carry a ridiculously large learner plate on top of my head.

Now, with the fear of people’s judgment out of the way, I walk ardently; inhaling the air in this land that is graced with the scent of fresh tenses and ripe subject-verb agreements. I frolic in gardens filled with blooming nouns and verbs. I visit the ranches and feed adjectives and adverbs with proper prepositions and then graze them in a field of luscious conjunctions. 

I always follow my visit to the ranch with a trip to the lake of fire, where I watch people who use the passive voice burn in pain as their teeth are gnashed. For souvenirs, there are usually stands of vocabulary sets, so if I carry some change, I always get at least a 2-in-1 pack of synonyms or rhymes. I then rush to the hall of fame, which is filled with portraits of my favorites: Dan Brown, Jeremy Archer, and whoever writes the jokes on SNL. And because I love the beach, I never miss the sunset by the shores on my way out. It is there where I learn which new authors have managed to leave their footprints behind. 

As I inspect the farms and see all the essays that writing professors helped their students grow, or when I walk by the malls and see all the fonts on display, fonts that I can afford to at least rent, I can’t help but feel just how privileged I am even to be allowed into this city. And further, to be handed a set of characters that know me personally. 

They do.

Each one of them lights the tunnel through which my ideas leave my mind. Every single one of them has kept the secrets I have jotted down in my diaries. All of them are cheering me on right now as I approach the gate that leads outside this land.

This is why regardless of how overwhelming it is to travel to this world every day, I keep coming back. I know I will never get lost.