22nd April, 2019.
Tonight I turned to Ray Bradbury to provide me with the strength to flick time back to a more flexible personal era. One that enables me to reconnect with my love of writing.
I’ve become very conscious of losing sight of my underlying love for the craft. I sit here now, in my bed, and look over to my right at my bookshelf, populated with books dying to be read or read again. I look north-east, at the framed entire text of Dr Seuss’s Oh! The Places You’ll Go!. Then straight ahead, through my doorway into the hall, at my James and the Giant Peach print, another text framed in its entirety.
Below this, more books. To my left, a bedside table housing another stack. This pattern isn’t about aesthetics.
It’s an inevitable, constant reminder. Of what I enjoy. Of how I feel about the power of language. Of what I want – to have my words printed, bound, and shelved. Multiple mass-produced opportunities for communication and connection.
What’s stopping me? In a weird way, I think it might actually be this goal for publication. The resistance to starting, that perhaps stems from the fear that I’ll keep thinking I’m moving forward but learn the only progress I’m actually making is treading sideways. A valid fear, especially for a chick who’s afraid of bodies of water.
So what am I going to have to do? Well, I’m going to have to stop indulging this fear I have of telling people I enjoy writing in my spare time, lest they think I’m your stereotypical wordy wanker.
Fun fact: the idea of not wanting to be judged has led to not wanting to blog, even after paying for this site and studying about the form, about mailing lists and gaining a loyal readership, all because I feel my content won’t be original or intriguing enough or, even worse, that someone I know will stumble across my writings or attempts at self-marketing and have a good laugh at my naïveté.
I think it’s really important, though, that I have a voice. I wouldn’t pop up particularly prominently if you graphed the vocality of people on this planet. Writing has always been a crucial outlet for me – even producing dry-witted IMs keeps me going.
What else is important? That I share my writing with people who want to read it, and stop worrying about those who don’t. That I forget about trying to please the gatekeepers (official or non-), and purely focus on studying and practising writing so that I can produce works I’m proud of; that say something; that express and validate my thoughts and feelings at any given time.
Over time, I’ve managed to render myself paralysed. Even journalling has become an activity where I’ve questioned its validity. Writing was always my thing. I need to continue to let it be.
As Ray says,
It needs to be my tonic, morning and night. Otherwise, I’ll go insane.
27th April, 2019.
As the novel journal my sister bought me for Easter says:
Alas, in spite of the previous plea to myself, I had again left this entry, and blog, to gather moss. I’ve been thinking a lot about content, though – about how much I enjoy creating it, whether it be a humorous social media post, a text message, or a short story, hidden (for the most part, except for when I feel feedback is more important than perfection) from plain sight.
I started work on a novel a while ago. It initially formed as a short story, a random gathering of thoughts that gradually morphed into something richer, something full of potential. I’ve got close to 50k words on it, and had quite a fun time producing said words, but have struggled to maintain that momentum – no doubt a result of the aforementioned publishing goal causing resistance and anxiety. This led me to abandon the project – or at least put it on the back-burner while I tried to strengthen my craft and produce shorter works that seemed easier to complete. While I’m pleased with what I have so far, I have not completed those tasks, either.
Well, I’ve decided again to commit to the novel. When you think about it, the compound interest of investing a little each day into this sort of project should allow you to produce pretty prolifically. I wouldn’t know because my stints are not continuous enough to see that come to fruition. But I’ve seen the progress, felt the awe of how things shift as you chip away at them and create moments of inspiration that set you on a newer, better path. I think waiting, this time, has served me well. I have developed my storytelling skill. And I have a long road ahead of me in terms of furthering that improvement. Eventually though, you need to accept where you currently stand in the creative game, and be willing to share that – remembering that if it’s your best right now, you can’t be anything other than proud of that. And that’s what I’m going to do, and be.
My overarching goal, in committing to this novel, is to enjoy the writing and crafting process, actively choosing to make it a perpetually pleasurable pursuit. That’s the only way I’m going to create a piece of work that’s truly, unashamedly ME.
This blog will be a documentation of that process, celebrating my strides, teasing apart my shortcomings, and revealing what I learn in the hope that it might help others.
This is my space: to put the feelers out, to express myself, to set down some roots and work towards creating content I enjoy writing and, perhaps even more importantly, reading.