There was always writing.

Since I can remember, writing has been there. When I was about 12 or 13, all the kids in my class thought I would be a writer. It was so easy back then. Words would just get one after the other.

Later, in my teens, I used to go everywhere with a notebook and a pencil. I would go to the park, sneakily smoking cigarettes. There were some rules I had to follow. I would write about what was in front of me, quality was not a goal, but speed and quantity, blank pages were not allowed. A poem about the steps. A tribute to a cloud. A song for an ant.

Back then, all I wrote was fiction and some sort of poetry. Short stories that generally followed the same style of whatever book we were reading in class. I wrote about Castilla when we read Machado, I tried Lorca’s rhythm. There was no style, I was only fifteen.

For the high school literature competition, I sent multiple stories. I got some awards. They loved one of my poems, but they couldn’t awarded it, it was a tribute to a card game (mus, a Spanish popular game, way more popular than poker). They were shortsighted, it was a tribute to friendship.

Then there was journalism. It was the end of fiction. On Saturday nights, I would write headlines out of my friends’ sentences, not the truth, but not lying either. We would read them out loud on hangover Sundays and laugh, it was manipulation to clickbait level, without knowing.

After that, I only wrote two more fiction stories. One for a literature class, it was good, they said, but you need to solve the jigsaw you started. But I couldn’t solve the jigsaw and I never finished it. Years later, on a train to Valencia, an old man jumped under my wagon. He died. As way of coping I gave him a story, a name, and a narrative. I never wrote fiction again.

Writing became professional. Be a professional, I was told at journalism. So I did. I narrowed the topics to design, typography, and lettering. It became academic. And writing became painful.

I want the joy back.

January 13, 2023