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)

Archives

 

Blast from the PastI 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.