Here’s another post from a blog I kept in 2005. The goal was to write every day, though I didn’t quite meet that goal. Several of the posts explored the creative process — and my creative process in particular. I’m sharing them here in a “blast from the past” series.
Today’s post was originally published on May 30, 2005 (morning)
I felt the urge to pull out my Mac SE over the weekend. I don’t know why, I just felt compelled. After some problems getting it to boot up and then some mouse issues, I was able to make it work (somewhat). I spent some hours amusing myself with what used to pass for computer games (black & white, low-level animation, tiny screen) and remembering how excited I was to get Tetris on my system 15 years ago. Then I decided to read some of my story archives. Supposedly the entire reason for my keeping this hard drive is that there are story files that I have never printed and don’t want to lose. Of course, I feel most of that writing is drivel — fan-fict and soap opera-style romance plots — but I also know there are gems of dialogue and description hidden amongst the dregs. I need to re-read it regularly to help me remember that I do have some talent and to prove to myself that I am much more capable of discerning the good from the really good from the bad from the “it has potential.”
I found a poem that I don’t even remember writing. It had completed disappeared from my memory and when I opened the file and started reading, I expected to see a citation at the end telling me who wrote it. I was shocked to find it was me. After reading it a few more times and noting the copyright wording, I do remember writing a poem for Starscapes in order to introduce the tag line for the newsletter and demonstrate that I would accept literary items as well as news for the publication. I still don’t remember the process of actually writing this poem. I showed it to Johnna when he got home from work Saturday night. He said it’s “not bad” and definitely more mature than the stuff I’ve shown him that I wrote in high school. I guess I wanted that validation or I wouldn’t have shown it to him in the first place. He also thinks that I wrote the poem about him — even though I wrote in back in 1993, when I still tried to convince myself I was heterosexual.
I wrote a lot of poetry in junior high and high school, because that’s what adolescent girls do. However, mine was good enough to be featured in state-wide anthologies and send me to writers’ camp in the summer. So, how is it that I haven’t ever pursued poetry? Why do I think I’m meant to be a novelist and essayist or columnist? Why haven’t I ever been attracted to the reading of poetry the way poets are? Why have I only written a few poems since high school? Do I really think less of poetry? Or do I think poetry is the “higher” art form and fear my ability to measure up in that field? Johnna said that the poem I found is better than some of the things other people perform at open mikes and better than some poetry that gets published. If I can write like that when I choose to write, why don’t I choose to write more often?
That seems to be my core question, whether it’s applies to poetry, fiction, essays, articles — any format really. If I can write that well, why the hell aren’t I writing more????
As I posted on my general journal a little while ago, my goal is to write twice a day (morning and evening) until I determine which time of day flows better for me and then write once a day. I will allow myself one day off each week. I will write more and learn to write even better than I have in the past. It’s time to put my belief into practice: I am a writer and I need to write in order to feel balanced and whole. Period.