It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a penchant for fairytales. Therefore the words “Once Upon A Time” get abused quite frequently when I write. But every story can’t begin like that (even though I would like that very much) so, often I end up with an unmarked notebook page before me or a blank word document open, pen poised above the page or fingers resting above the keyboard waiting and waiting for the right words to come to me. Writing is hard. Beginning a new story or novel or essay is even harder.
I’ve wanted to write for the past week. I had great aspirations of writing a short story or a personal essay. But I didn’t. I bought a new notebook (a lot of thought goes into my notebook purchases) along with a fancy new seven-year pen (it’s not actually fancy–it is bright orange and has an exclamation mark on it). I had every intention of sitting down to write. I had a week off from work and literally nothing else to do but write and maybe read a book or two. Alas, I was so intimidated by beginning that I didn’t even try. I am sure I am not alone with this miserable affliction and there are others who have a difficult time starting their writing. (Side note: watch Purple Violets. It’s a good movie and one of the characters struggles with being a writer who stopped writing. Also one of my favorites.) The fear of starting keeps me from writing anything. And suddenly a week goes by that will ultimately lead into two and then three and then before I know it I will have stopped writing completely because I’m too intimidated to start.
There is a unique beginning out there for every story, though it may be hard to find. I’ve done it before and I’m sure I can do it again. I’m hoping that this post will hold me accountable. I’m also hoping that maybe this time I will let myself use the wrong words and just write without concern for the end result.
Plus, now I have this nifty new typewriter to use. Funny thing about typewriters: there’s not “delete” button.
Maybe next time I’ll have something actually written to blog about instead of blogging about my intention to write.
My intention upon finishing my last post (when I declared that I was finished writing my thesis but that it was the start of a longterm novel project) was to actually keep writing. I said I was going to do it and I really thought I was going to keep writing. I lied. I haven’t written anything.
I hate lying. I’m the kind of person that though I’m twenty-four years old, when my Dad calls to check in and asks “How was your weekend? Did you have fun?” I respond, “It was fine. Nothing exciting to report. Well…I went out. I may have had something to drink. Okay I had three beers but I promise I was responsible! I’m sorry! I swear did all my homework!” To which my dad says, “Oh, okay. Well, I’m glad you had fun.” No, but really, I’m unnecessarily honest sometimes.
So every day that has gone by since my last post and I haven’t written anything, I feel like I have been living a lie and it makes me anxious that this lie is so public.
I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Well, just because you haven’t written anything in a week in a half doesn’t necessarily mean that you lied.”
But I have a confession: I’m not sure I want to keep writing.
Okay, calm down. I don’t mean I want to stop writing forever but I don’t know what I want to write anymore. A little history on my life as a writer: I’ve always written young adult or middle grade. It’s always been fiction and almost always fantasy. It wasn’t something I ever gave a second thought to. Somewhere along the way I neglected to make the transition to “real” books in both the books I read and was trying to write. But lately I’ve been wondering what I’ve been missing by living in my children’s literature bubble. Between these blog posts and a few creative nonfiction classes I’ve taken in my college career, I’ve gotten a taste of a different kind of writing. And I think I like it.
I feel stuck in the crossroads between this direction I’ve always been heading in and the potential for something else I’m starting to feel passionate about. Maybe I try something new? Maybe I stick with what I know? Maybe I do both? Gasp!
So who knows what I’ll write next. I think maybe I’ll start with trying to read some different book–books outside of my comfort zone. We’ll see where that takes me. I just maybe won’t make more promises I don’t know if I can keep. 😉