Sooooo I did not write anything creative this week, but I did write, a whole lot in fact. Some times I feel like my day job interferes with my ability to think and write creatively because all of I’m doing is writing courteous emails and boring data reports, neither of which really allows room for any fun.
Let’s sidetrack for a minute. When I first started writing and thinking about actually letting other people see my writing, I asked my mom if I should have a pen name. She told me no because she wanted a famous daughter whom she can brag about, and if I had a fake name who would believe her? No, actually she did not say that, but no promises that she didn’t think it. She did encourage me to use my real name though because she felt like it was silly to make up a new name.
Well, like any typical teenager I did not listen to her. I like the thought of having an alter ego; it is just too much fun. I did go through quite a few really bad ones before I settled on this current one. Seeing how I have this whole blog set up and everything I guess I’ll stick to it.
But like any good daughter I did not disappoint mom either. She can see my birth name in shining light on grant reports. Cheers, mom!
I remember reading in a book that all good writers write based on experiences from the first sixteen years of their lives. I don’t know how true or untrue that is, but I definitely remember panicking and thinking that I was quickly approaching sixteen and have not gathered anything exciting yet.
So many years later and here I am, still without grand adventures to pull stories from. What has changed though is how I interpret what it means to write from experience. Regardless of genre or style I think what makes a story good is its ability to connect with the reader. And what can make that connection stronger than to focus on the most common human emotions and experiences? The key, however, is how to revisit the simplicity of life, chew on it, spit it out so it would look different from the first time around. I think if a story is able to do that then it is really worth reading.
Well, here’s to hoping that I can accomplish this task!
Recently I read on a literary magazine that the editors prefer stories with characters who have names, because only then do they feel that these characters come alive and have identities. I couldn’t agree with that. There are plenty of wonderful stories with nameless faces. I don’t think the name is important at all; what is in a name anyway? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. As long as the character is described well, I don’t think it matters if she is called Janet or Catherine, or if he is Benjamin or Travis. Who really cares?
Of course, there are times when names are very defining. They can carry certain je ne sais pas with them, yes. But the air I wish to create in my stories often do not call for names, and I use them sparingly. Sometimes I don’t even want to make the gender known. Some experiences, I feel, can be shared between both men and women.
Maybe I’m just being difficult, but I can’t find it in myself to name them if they did not come to me with names already.
Do you want me to help you disappear? I found myself say as your desperate eyes met mine. Before I could catch
You already sank beneath the sky. That wasn’t what I meant.
I decided today that I would go back to trying to write more often, and so I decided to visit Trifecta again. Silly me forgot that it is already Friday and they are no longer taking link ups to prompts. In any case, I wrote the above as a response to this week’s challenge, which is to write 33 additional words to “that wasn’t what I meant.”
This actually led me to think about my horrible writing habits. I have tons of unedited drafts in my phone that date back to 2012, but I have not successfully finished revising them. Every time I visit them I just feel like there is something that isn’t right and I cannot allow myself to show the world such ugly little compositions. They are like some overgrown, brittle, yellowing weed you discovered in your parents’ muck of a backyard. They are stubborn and insist on hogging up space, but you can’t find it in your heart to love them. It is a tragedy really.
Another problem I have is my crazy idea of “being inspired.” Unfortunately for me, my inspirations come at very inopportune times. For example, during my private one-on-one with certain bathroom utilities, or at 4:13 in the morning between act I and II of my dream. In fact, I have tried to record these sudden outbursts of brain fluidity. I clearly remember placing a notebook and a pen on my nightstand so I can write down whatever came to my mind in the middle of the night. However, it never seem to be as clever an idea when I wake in the morning.
I also tend to seek out inspirations in real life. I mean what better than to people watch, right? The best writers write true to life. But I think I have a problem with watching people too closely. Sometimes I wish I had the cloak of invisibility so people wouldn’t insist that I stop staring at them any more.
In any case, in going forward, I will try to take out time and write more. It is probably best if I read more too. It’s about time to graduate high school in my reading speed. I currently read at the speed of an 8th grader due to my weird obsession with touching every word with my gaze. I should stop that. Probably.