I promised to edit an essay for my little sister by tomorrow, which is why I was digging through the documents saved onto my computer. I found her essay, but I also found a word document called “writing in Poland,” with about ten unfinished pieces from my holidays. I had already forgotten it. Was I really visiting my family in Poland only three weeks ago?
It’s probably not a good idea to publish it, but I’m so sleep-deprived I don’t care. Here is something of a journal entry that made me particularly sad to read, and not just because I referred to myself in the third person.
Kasia had forgotten how to write. Not logistically, of course. She still knew her alphabet. She knew how to hold a pen to paper. And she knew how to type on a computer. And she hadn’t forgotten how to write everything. She could still write a mean essay and a damn good journalism article.
But there was a reason that she wanted to study English in the first place, and that was because she wanted to be a writer. The kind of writer who knows creativity, and can write a story that sucks the reader into a different world and then lingers in the reader’s mind for days, months, and years afterward. And this was what she had forgotten.
That’s probably why she hadn’t updated her study abroad blog for a while, and was focusing instead on her original tumblelog, typing up personal posts about New Years’ resolutions and pop culture analyses. It wasn’t that she didn’t have the impulse to write, because she certainly did. And writing these dinky little articles not only came to her as naturally as tying her shoe, but she enjoyed it greatly too. Crafting each sentence, picking the right words. Making clever jokes here and there. It was great fun for her to write. But she could no longer write a story.
She didn’t know how to end this story, for instance. So she sat there, on a crowded bus, staring at the Polish dude on the television screen who was instructing passengers that gambling was strictly prohibited on the 15-hour ride.
She didn’t know how to end this story.