I’m still new to this. I was put through the ringer at college and told to write everyday, yada-yada. I suppose I was about as regular as anyone else who worked and had at least one kid but now I’m working on discipline. Right now I’m working on my process. I’m filling up a notebook with rough drafts, outlines, ideas, etc. And then the plan is to write out the first drafts of those while filling another notebook with more. Then it’s revision and then to my editors with it. My friends that are willing to read it, that is. Hubby is quite the grammar freak. I got lucky there ; )
Lily starts kindergarten soon and then I’ll have time to myself until my resumes and interview make an impact on an employer and I start a full time job.
Recently I wrote an outline for a youth story, inspired by a friend’s young boy. It’s amazing where one can get inspiration from. I had this silly and snobby idea when I was a teenager that true inspiration came from somewhere that was not outside yourself. But in truth inspiration comes from anywhere. It can come from listening to the morning talk show on the radio, watching your child play pretend, a turn of phrase or Freudian slip, from your past experiences, your spiritual experiences. Anywhere.
For me it travels inside and hangs out with the rest of the stew until it draws significant elements to itself to become something new. That is creativity: the act of making something new and maybe improved out of elements and parts sometimes unlikely to have mingled together before. A transcendence of the ordinary, of boundaries and other restrictions to come to something new. Confluence is another word that I like. It stumbles around in your mouth. It is a word to describe the convergence of rivers or streams. Stumbling and water do not really go together but sometimes that’s the way it feels when you begin again without the push of teachers and a goal of graduation. There are a lot of English/Creative Writing graduates who move to some other Masters Program that has little to do with creative writing in it’s entirety (creative problem-solving is sought after in most professions). But since my family decided to wait until Lily is in kindergarten to have me a full time job, I’ve been exercising my imagination, process and discipline. I think I’ve been doing okay on all fronts now that I’ve accepted all that inspiration has to offer.
When I graduated I had certain ideas about what I was going to do; I was determined to do things a certain way. It caused a blockage that I railed against for a while. A wise friend of mine said, “Don’t push the river.” Who knows, maybe I was damming up other rivers trying to focus on one. Rivers of spirituality, past experience, current events, parenthood. You know all those hats and parts of myself that I should live in harmony and balance with. *sigh* A whole new level of accepting myself and my writing. I read in a writing book once that writers have an alter ego that writes. It’s a tougher, more versatile and resilient part of yourself that is willing to rip your stuff up rather than babying it. Face it, most of us are sensitive and/or possessive about our creative work and the thought of it not being ours anymore by going out into the world and being criticized by anyone makes us cringe and hold it to our hearts where it will never see the light of another person’s eyes.
I’m still coming to terms with the fact I have to let my writing go. Even though, long ago in high school I realized there was a difference between creating for the masses as a job and creating for yourself as an outlet, a hobby. And I’ve lived with it in my head and heart for many years now I still think there are parts of me that are not behind it. Kinda like telling your companion it’s time to leave and they agree in speech but still sits on the couch chilling out watching the television while you’re headed to the door. This is where the alter ego comes in and kicks everyone out so that it can work without distraction. I’ve been this person and my hubby and daughter don’t really like her sometimes because she is so focused. I become consumed by what I am doing. Actually, now that I write this it is very much like the me that presides over a ritual. Ha, that’s great! Expect I can be a real bitch…
Toughening up can take some time. I remember my first rejection letter. The editor’s response was “it’s pretty but it’s not what we are looking for” or something like that. Saying my poetry is pretty is like a slap in my face. I was still in college when that happened and I told my professor about it. He just gave me a knowing grin. He knew exactly how it felt, I’m sure. A writer is warned that they will receive many many more rejections than acceptance letters but still “pretty”! Cut to the quick. I’ve dealt with it. Maybe she didn’t understand the poems to say anything constructive. Oh my, read me rant, lol.
Now friends don’t be afraid to tell me my poetry is pretty, pish, my husband says that too. He actually has a penchant for rhyme and meter which I don’t pay attention to. Poor man! I like the way words roll but I’m not going to restrict myself to a structure lest I feel like it. The other day I was rhyming in my head and it sounded like a housewife’s rap or something, haha.
Here is what I have:
Don’t be hatin’
on my bakin’.
Promise I’m waitin’
for the timer.
Readin’ Game Informer
on the counter.
I know it is totally silly, that’s what I was going for. I need to laugh more at myself.
Lately, I’ve been filling my notebook with short stories. I was pushing for a novel before and realized maybe that was too big a step for myself so I’m working on a collection of stories. Their more science fiction and fantasy than anything else. I just prefer some weirdness with my fiction. Of course, some of the stuff I write about I think is possible. Yes, I’m an X-Phile and I’m a big Fringe fan.
Well, this was nice visit hope we do again sometime. Love and Blessings, Ren