25 April 2012

This is a project I’ve been mulling over for weeks, and have been putting off until post-graduation. Well, I say fuck it. My brain’s been running wild with ideas, and I’m beginning to remember what it feels like to have so much creative energy that I can’t do anything without relieving it first.

It’s going to be messy. I haven’t written seriously in ages. Especially creatively. Thoughtful essays are by far my preferred style and, while there will certainly be a fair amount of those here, it’s time to PLAY.

I remember in elementary and middle school when I would write for the sheer thrill of bringing my ideas to life, delighting over interesting turns of phrase. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with literature, and learned to be afraid.

As a child, anything is possible. Then you grow up & get acquainted with real talent, usually when you’re most insecure.

I stopped writing with the conviction I could never possibly be as good as the greats, so why try?

Well, 15 year old me, I call bullshit on your ass.

Even so, these last 9 years haven’t been for nothing. I’ve read wonderfully inspiring prose. Prose that leaves my fingers itching for a pen.

I had to learn humility and appreciation for the greats, and I’m glad I did.

But now it’s time to play — and acknowledge that unlike before it won’t be fearless. But that’s okay — fear can be defeated.

I also let go of the worry of audience. There is a small circle of people I might (read: probably will) allow to read this, but this exercise in experimentation is mostly my own. Should anything further come of it, I’ll find a penname.

I don’t even know if authors still use those, but one of my biggest hindrances lately has been a feeling of self-censorship of content, not wanting friends & family to read too much into my works, and not wanting to worry about them uncovering something about me & my life I would rather remained buried.

But I also don’t want to have forbidden topics. I need to be free in my experiments.

And what are those experiments?
* Poetry
* Short Stories
* Vignettes

I am interested in playing with both form & content so both work together to convey an idea or theme.

I will write in pen & may return to and rewrite pieces @ any point. This is to preserve the evolution & process.

I will make notes on parts I like & don’t like & why, as well as what I was trying to achieve.

Finally, I will discuss fears, anxieties & joys surrounding the process and experimentation as I go.

It’s time to let go of the fear.
It’s time to be what I’ve always wanted.
Warts and all.

Quote

Maine was trying to teach me something, but I was a slow learner. I thought I’d gone to Maine to face my demons and turn them into art, but it turned out that I couldn’t face them, and not only that I couldn’t even find them. I was trying to write about what I knew, which in itself probably wasn’t a bad idea, but I was mistaken about what that was. I thought that what I knew most about was myself, but I could not have been more wrong. I didn’t know the first thing about myself, and Maine wasn’t going to teach me. You don’t learn about yourself by being alone, you learn about yourself from other people.

[…]

I lived like that for two more months before I called it quits; I lasted six months in all. Afterward I told people I left because I ran out of money, which was objectively true, but it wasn’t the real truth. The real truth was that I left because I was sick of being cold and lonely and a lousy writer. I had finally reached the tipping point where the misery of living alone in Maine outweighed the misery of having to admit to myself that it wasn’t working, that I did need other human beings, and that I wasn’t a genius after all. I would have admitted anything as long as I didn’t have to live in Maine anymore.

[…]

What I hadn’t figured out yet was that it’s OK not to be a genius, whatever that is, if there even is such a thing. Since then I’ve learned that the creative life may or may not be the apex of human civilization, but either way it’s not what I thought it was. It doesn’t make you special and sparkly. You don’t have to walk alone. You can work in an office — I’ve worked in offices for the past 15 years and written five novels while doing it. The creative life is forgiving: You can betray it all you want, again and again, and no matter how many times you do, it will always take you back.

— Lev Grossman; How Not to Write Your First Novel

06 May 2012

I’ve always loved the ocean. The steady, rhythmic sound of waves breaking and washing faithfully against the shore. I feel connected to the sea in a way beyond the grasp of words or explanation. This is probably why I fear separation from it.
I often feel like if I were ever truly separated or barred from the salty swell of the waves that I would wither away, as if cut off from the very source of my life.
Such feelings I know are passe, unenlightened, not modern.
But knowing that doesn’t change the feeling.
And I wonder sometimes if we maybe all truly do have these natural connections and are all just trying to pretend we’re more evolved than we are.
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