Thursday, December 10, 2009

.caught in your own glory/you are believing your own stories.

It's been over a month since I last posted. I never mean for that to happen - it just does; life gets away from me. I do have an excuse not posting this time - at least for last month. I was participating in NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) during the month of November, trying to get to that 50,000 words again. I made it, but unlike last year's novel, I don't feel like this one has a future. It began as a stage play - something that I have very little experience with outside of a poor attempt as a teenager to write a modern day Macbeth - and about half way through, I realized I could not do 50,000 words that way. I am sure a more experienced playwright could have, but not I. So I changed it to a novel. That made it easier, but even then the story was barely coming. I had lost interest in what I'd started so, by the end, I was just writing to get to the word count goal - though I can't say it was a complete loss. I had my characters engage in lame conversations about movies enough that I am fairly certain I have some reviews and  blog posts on pop culture hiding in the pages. Heh, I'll try again next year and hope for the kind of rewarding experience I had last year. I'd like to believe this year was a fluke, so I will.

One thing it did do for me though was make me realize this: I am never going to be the writer that I want to be if I don't write as often as humanly possible. Clearly, I can set things aside to do this for a month, so why the hell am I not doing it year round? It just doesn't make sense and I am not getting any younger. I have to put forth more effort if I am ever going to get anywhere with this. I'm not looking for Stephen King status - I'd be fine with a smaller, more cult-like following. But seriously, what is it about me that makes it so hard for me to sit down and do something that I want to do?

I really am going to try, but I know I need to be held accountable for writing. I need someone who will wag their finger at me and remind me that if I am ever going to manage an east coast reading tour that will best my high school tormentors, I have to get on the ball. Because saying that the last time you were published was in the college newspaper? Not too impressive.

The reality, though, is that the finger-wagger is going to have to be me (at least 99.9% of the time). I don't have anyone in my life as invested in my own dreams as I am - and that's how it should be. I have to whip myself into action. No one is going to feel disappointed in me for not putting a little time toward writing each day except for me. No one is going to feel anxious and worried about my future if I don't do this but me. Me, my own worst enemy. Looks like I'm gonna have to make BFFs with the part of me that slinks so easily into procrastination mode and stays walled up in that little comfort zone of doing nada; then, I'll coax it into submission.

What I want to do now is work on updating this blog more often as well as putting together my other blogs (one that I planned to edit and one that I was going to use for less personal, more cultural "jibba jabba"). I would also like to work on piecing together a zine. I've been thinking about doing another zine for an incredibly long time. I haven't written one since way back when I was still going to school in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, at the community college I transferred to UIC from. I was in my early twenties then. A lot has happened in the meantime (of course) and I think I am quite a different person. There should be plenty to write about. But it's an overwhelming project, too, for that reason. I've been thinking about what to put in a zine, though, and I have some ideas.

The thing about writing personal essays for me is that I find myself trying to work toward an end that ties things up nicely. But the credits on my life have yet to roll (*knock on wood*) and I don't know how to tell my stories another way. I also tend to lean away from writing about things that are especially painful - in fact, I tend to shy away from talking about them, either (except on occasion with my therapist). I've come to realize over the past several months that even though I have a few friends, a girlfriend, etc., I have still effectively shut people out this way (especially over the last four or five years, I think). When it comes down to it, no one really knows me. It's something I have been coming to terms with but haven't quite gotten to the point in the "processing it" stage where I begin correcting it. So...that's another issue with my writing that I have to work on: how to write about what hurts and how to be honest about it.

I am making a resolution, though - not a New Year's kind of resolution that you break the next day. I want to do this for real - because no matter what, I can manage an hour (at least) out of a day to sit and write. And what I plan to do with that is make it visible - so that everyone else (i.e., anyone who cares) will actually see that the work is getting done (at least a small part of it). So here it is:

  1. I will write at least an hour each day. 
  2. At least part of this writing will be a blog - either here or at my other blog:
  3. I will also finish this zine before the end of January and when I do, I will sell copies on Etsy. 
  4. I will attempt to make said zine as honest as possible.

And that's it. That's my deal with myself. When I've kept it for ten consecutive days in a row, I will think of a way to celebrate or treat myself - and maybe even do that every ten consecutive days of writing if it keeps me motivated.

Now if I can only make a deal with myself to go to the gym more and to become fluent in French...

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