Dear Self, Keep Writing

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The teen with a mop of un-brushed hair and a chocolate smear on her cheek was lying on her bedroom floor. Her hands on the computer in front of her but her fingers were still. Sleep-deprived eyes roved the screen and disgust was plain on her face.

“Hopeless.” She declared at last. She shoved the computer away and sat up. “I’m done. My writing stinks, my plot is terrible and my characters are weak. I’m giving up.”

“You know, if you do that, you’ll never get better at writing.”

Hattush jumped when she heard a voice behind her. Whirling around, she saw an older version of own face.

“Who – who are you?” Hattush grabbed a coffee cup and poised it as a weapon.

“I’m you.” The stranger grinned. “Well, kind of. I’m you, from the future.”

Hattush rolled her eyes. “Great. I’ve spent so much time staring at this screen that it’s warped my brain. Now I’m seeing future versions of myself.”

“Don’t freak out, okay? I’m here on a mission.”

“This is so weird.”

“Yeah, it is. But were we ever normal?”

Hattush thought for a moment. She searched the pages of her life story and then shook her head. “Nope.”

Future H nodded approvingly. “So are you going to listen to my advice or not?”

“Fine. I’m not doing anything else right now.”

“Exactly.” Future H plopped down on the floor beside Hattush. She had to move stacks of notes, a couple journals and hurried sketches of characters out of the way. “Alrighty. So, Younger Me, I’ve come from the past on a mission.”

“You already said that. Wow, I was really hoping that I would grow out of the habit of repetition as I grew older.”

“Something’s are too engrained.”

“Rats.”

Future H cleared her throat and reached into her bag and pulled out a book. “Look at this. What do you see?”

Hattush took the volume in her hand. “Uh, a book.”

“Look closer.”

Hattush did and then gasped. “Whoa! My name’s on the cover! Did I write this?”

“Future you did.”

“That’s so cool! And it actually got published?”

“Yep.”

“Ooh what’s the story about?”

Future H swiped the book from her hand. “The idea will come to you in due time.”

“I can’t believe I actually wrote a book!”

Future H sighed and rolled her eyes. “Look, you’ve already written a book.”

“Uh, no I haven’t.”

“Yes, you have. You’ve written quite a few actually. But you didn’t publish them.”

Hattush laughed. “Never. They’re so bad no one would read them. I go back and reread them and I’m embarrassed that I even wrote them.”

“Think of the first story that you wrote.”

Hattush bit her lip and thought back to the little dining room in Pittsburgh when she was five or six. She had sat at the table and written (and illustrated) a short story about a chicken and a family.

“Uh, I guess it was probably some of my chicken stories.”

“Were you proud of them?”

“At the time? Yes. Very much. But now I can see that they were so terrible. Which means that when I look back at my current writing, I’ll realize how bad it actually is.”

“Very logical. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.” Future H tapped Hattush’s computer. “Man, I forgot about this old thing.”

“What computer do we have in the future?? Is it one of those really nice expensive ones? Ooh can you tell me how much money I’ll make from my job? What job am I doing in the future?”

“All in time, sis. Back to the point.”

“Which is?”

“Would you say that your writing has improved drastically since that first story?”

“For sure.”

“Imagine if younger you hadn’t written that chicken story. What if you had thought that it was too bad and that you could never become a writer and just gave up? You never would have gotten better. You wouldn’t have practiced and worked hard and kept growing.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s not true. Even a twenty-year-old who’s never told a story in their lives could write better than a five year old who thought that chickens had dog-like ears.”

“True. But look. My point, which keeps getting interrupted by the way, is that those first stories were building blocks. They paved the way to what you’re writing now. They helped get you to where you are now. And the stories that you’re writing currently –”

“Are trash.”

“No. They’re helping you build your writing muscles. If you keep working hard and learning and growing, you’ll end up where I am now.” Future H patted the book beside her. “But don’t give up.”

“Giving up sounds really appealing right now. You know how much stuff I have to do? Look at my room! It’s a mess. I need to clean it up and clean the sugar glider’s cage. I have tons of chores. And way more emails. AND SCHOOL. I have so much school work.”

“Past me, sto-”

“I also have to do research on midwifery because it may become my career. Hey, what job do you have, Future Self? Am I doing research on something that’s not going to happen? What if –”

“Hey, stop. Okay. I’m only here for a few more minutes so stop telling me all the stuff you have to do and just listen.”

Hattush sighed. “Fine.”

“People say that we have a gift.”

“Yeah, well they also say that it rains cats and dogs.”

“Stop interrupting. Whether that is true or not, we love writing and crafting stories. We’ve always loved it. It’s our way of making sense of the world. The written word has a powerful impact on people. You can, have and will impact people through your writing. Don’t quit. Definitely don’t procrastinate.”

“But –”

“You’ll never get anywhere by giving you. You’ll never grow as a writer or as a human. Yes, there are tons of writers better than you. Yes, it’s easy to get discouraged. Yes, you hate your stories and are at a loss on how to make them better. But is giving up going to fix any of that?”

“It might.”

“No, it won’t. And you know it. So set your timer, girl. Sit down and write for the next thirty minutes.”

Hattush nodded eagerly. “Perfect, I have a few sugar glider informational posts that I’ve been meaning to write for An Inky Dream.”

Future H glared. “Write on your novel. Then you can do the fun posts that you’re not procrastinating on.”

“Rats.” Hattush groaned. “But I’m stuck. I really don’t want to write this next part. Have I ever mentioned that I can’t write battle scenes? Why oh why did I come up with a story that had so many?!”

“Try, lil sis. Just try. It’ll come to you, but you have to stick it out and persevere. Oh, and just one more note. Do more research on realistic fighting. Please.”

“Fine. I’ll try writing. But I’m not expecting it to work….”

Hattush’s words died on her tongue. Future H had vanished. Hattush was alone in her room again. The screen was still mocking her. She took a deep breath and began typing.

At twelve the next night, the whole neighborhood could hear a shout of triumph coming from the little house at the top of the subdivision.

“I BROKE THROUGH WRITERS BLOCK! MY STORY IS GOING AGAIN! YEEES!”


To all discouraged writers, Future H (and Present H) encourage you to just keep writing. Don’t give up because you’re stuck. I believe in you. Believe in your ability. Write one word. Then another. Then a third. Keep going and don’t stop until you’re finished. Then throw a party, have a lot of ice cream and cheese cake and celebrate your success.

~Hattush

34 thoughts on “Dear Self, Keep Writing

  1. Oh wow. this is amazing!!! I love to write (tho, ask anyone i’m super bad) But mostly I’m interested in music. One of the reasons this is so incredible is that it can inspire even about other topics! I am so much more motivated! Thank you so much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. umm.. all besides classical? idk. I love listening to jazz. but i what i write would probably be in the pop genre. I also LOVE musicals “Hamilton” and “Dear Even Hansen” are my favorite. my favorite artist is Owl City. (I’m seriously obsessed with his music. XD) sry this is probably way more info than you planned on. XD 😀 😀 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s great! I don’t listen to a ton of pop (actually, the music I like is…I’m not sure the genre XD) but that’s great!
          Ooh cool! We just saw Hamilton. My sister LOVED it. She’s actually listening to the songs right now! 🙂 I haven’t seen Dear Even Hansen, though!
          Nah, I love hearing about music! Music is soooo beautiful! *heart eyes* It’s the lifeblood of a lot of people (me included!!!!)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Hattush! Your blog is amazing! I LOVE all the stories, I write stories too, but mine aren’t nearly as good, and I can’t seem to be able to finish a story more than five pages long due to writers block 😝 This has encouraged me to keep at it! Thank you!

    P.S. I love how you put this encouraging note in story style!
    ~Marie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Marie! Thank you so much!
      Aw, that’s so cool that you write stories as well! Ah yes, writers block. XD That’s SO hard. I’ve been dealing with it so much lately. 😫😫

      Like

  3. I remember when I wrote my first set of fantasy stories for creative writing class when I was in high school. I was so proud of them. Now I see how awful they are. Nonetheless, we should always look at writing as an enjoyable journey, as a rewarding process, in which we are always leveling up. I like to compare it to playing a fantasy RPG for the computer or the console, in which the joy is in the journey and the leveling up process, not the final destination. That’s how I have to start looking at writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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