Why Writing Essays Makes Me Sad

And writing in general makes me happy?

I’ve been working on a novel that is about myself, which is weird, super fun, and scary at the same time. I am definitely putting too much of myself into it (Can I get a Picture of Dorian Gray anyone?), but I guess that’s okay. You see, previously I have tried writing about other people, or writing about just one aspect of myself. But the fact is, I don’t know about other people, and I don’t know how a character can only be one aspect of myself without being something else. So before I try jumping into other people’s shoes, maybe i ought to get comfortable in my own skin.

Here’s the premise:

High school senior Julie Ashbury wants more than anything to descend from her ivory tower, but she’s deathly afraid of heights, and pretty much everything else. Naive, spoiled, socially awkward, and perpetually paranoid, Julie gracelessly stumbles through life. She believes that attending college far away from home in New York City will change her life forever, but her parents have other plans. She embarks on a journey of her own to discover what life is about, but she doesn’t discover much that she didn’t already know. She meets the same God that she has known her whole life, and the same humanity that she has always struggled to interact with. Fear is what has been holding her back, but fear is a part of her. How can she let go of it?

By the way, much of the plot of this book and the supporting characters are somewhat fabricated.

Compare that with this humanities essay that I have to write. I am arguing in this essay that Saint Augustine was converted to Christianity, and the kings of some long-forgtten dynasty were not. But I don’t like this. How could I possibly know who was converted and who was not?

What’s more, for someone who calls herself a writer, I suck at these essays. I got a B- on the last one. Not even a B+! At least no one grades me on my novels, just rejection letters. Also, I think that my TA thinks that I am biased. I also suspect everyone in my class knows that I am Christian and they don’t like me because I’m not perfect.

I don’t want to judge kings anymore. You know what, I don’t think I should be judging anyone, because the way you judged is the way you are judged. Sure, a lot of people are idolatrous and greedy. Sure there are probably valid criticisms of the early Catholic church “Fathers” and the famous Christians of our day, but I don’t know what’s in their hearts. What I do know for certain is that I am screwed up.

Satan tells me that I am so screwed up and self destructive that I don’t even deserve to live anymore. But why should I crucify myself when Jesus crucified himself for me? What am I trying to prove? And what can my sin do but shrivel up and die in the glorious light of day? And what temptation is there that cannot be resisted? How can faith do anything but help me to attain the highest wishes of my spirit, while shunning the vile and base impulses that are so different from the goodness that the difference cannot even be overstated?

I am not sure how I went from promoting my book to talking about my personal battle with Satan, but, consider yourself welcomed to my whacky existence.

 

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