Or, A Personal Struggle, this morning’s stream of consciousness, unedited.
What shall I write about today? I’m struggling. Not just today, for the last little while. Just reading the article “Lefty Guru of Optimism” in The New York Times on Anne Lamott made me smile and inspired to just write. Write my stuff. I feel my Dead of Winter entry is grounded, contrived, some of it good, but to complete it is feeling forced and contrived and I’m not convinced it’s a horror. It doesn’t scare me as I write it. Maybe I should work on editing Dropout and finding, at least looking for an agent. And Cape Cod Resolve or whatever I’m going to call it. And what about Skateboard Girl On the 5 Fulton?
So yes a late start to writing today too, but here I am! I’m doing it anyway! Does this help? I don’t know but here I am at the Mini in Scrivener and writing. Writing about the writing struggle.
I don’t want to let myself down you know. I wanted to write stories before I could actually form letters of the alphabet and put them together to form words, let alone putting words together to form sentences and sentences together to form paragraphs and thereby tell a story. I wanted to write some of my first stories as letters to my Uncle Buddy. So that is the venue mom used to teach me how to write letters, words, sentences, thoughts, right there on our dining room table on a rather plain stationery I had selected. I told her what I wanted to say, she coached me on the letters needed for the words and how to form the letters, then let me lay them down in my own order and way of speaking.
What happened to that dream? Sabotage! Sabotage from within, what do you call that? A kind of personal sort of treason? Rhymes with reason but no good reason other than being swayed by conventional dare I say “wisdom”? I daren’t. Heaven only knows it was not mom. It came from within.
“After I finish my homework.”
Came too easily to me and why? At least I had my letters to Uncle Buddy. By high school, I was stopping in the hallway between classes allowing myself to write down snippets, prose, thoughts, groups of words I liked the idea they formed the sound they formed and I had learned and practiced at that time, a free time, that I likely will NOT remember so write it down now. I try to remind myself of that now. With some success. Some. College, and so why did I not go into a writing program? No clue. English lit even? No clue. Then there was a new sabotage.
“I’ll get a job that will leave me mental capacity to write after work.”
Ha! I’m pretty sure any writer reading that will have a belly laugh.
Then I think “Writers write no matter what, so what does that make me?”
Well, I did write some. An article that was published in the Women’s Forum of Rider Magazine. I even got paid! An article in the City of Bellevue Stream Team Newsletter. Unpaid, unless you consider it part of my job, but I was an intern so they didn’t have to publish. So I was published.
Then for a time I wrote a lot as part of my job. I wrote specs. Some even good, or so I was told.
Eventually I’ve won a Gold and a Third place in a few writing contests.
But here I am in Ashland, Oregon, I guess “retired” though I never did anything official except now I’m writing, or trying to write every morning or in the summer every afternoon as morning is ideal in the summer for riding my bike.
So I’m mostly writing now. Still I manage to discourage myself. Put up roadblocks. Lose trust in myself.
I find myself questioning, well, I spend a lot of time away from my own stories by writing to writing contest themes and guidelines. But much advice is an entry writer must enter writing contests. May I be more selective? Is it ok to say right, but I am not familiar enough with the horror genre to enter a horror themed contest? I’ve made a start an attempt so learning process and writing practice. But I’m far away now from Henri. I feel I’ve abandoned her. And Top Violation…
…and finding agents or contests for some of my prose…flash even…getting more eyes on my blog.
Sure I started late here but I’ve now managed 765, 766, 767…words. Hot, cold. Hot. Cold. 773—no 776 words.