Shaky Starts

It’s been a while since I’ve written here and I hope it won’t seem like a cop out when I tell you that the reason is, at least in part, because I’ve been lured away to write fiction. I had the opportunity to hear one of my childhood favorite authors speak and read from her new book (post forthcoming). Her work, especially one book, has greatly influenced the way I look at story, and in fact even helped me as I began to imagine my senior project. The reading reawakened a hunger in me, a hunger that I’ve been pushing down because I didn’t have time or there was something I needed to do, or read, or insert other excuse here. I’ve started getting ideas again; I’ve even been putting them on paper. Yesterday, on my lunch break with a perfectly good book, I found myself writing character sketches on the back of a printed work schedule I found in my purse. The symptoms are clear.

I’ve been teaching a class at the Corbin Art Center on writing fiction for over a year now. Each class is different in many ways, but one thing has stayed the same: I come away wishing for more enthusiasm for my own writing. I watch these young, or not so young, writers, excited about what they are doing and new to that thrill that comes with it.

Sometimes I wish to be new to writing again, to be discovering these exercises for the first time, as they are; but there is something lovely about where I am now, especially if I start writing again.

I’m learning that writing is like life: you don’t always feel the same way about things, even things you love. Just because I’m not writing at this second does not mean that I’m not a writer, or that I will not write, or that I don’t have things to say. How easy it is to think that things will always stay as they are. I have learned, in my little life so far, that things almost never do.

So I embark, in a small shaky ship of an idea. I pray a lot, I second guess my thoughts, my process, and then I get lost in the idea and stop caring, for a very short time, if anyone else catches my vision, because I have it completely.