Thursday, January 10, 2013

Return to Writing

I'm back!

I promise I didn't forget about this blog. Really. A one-week break turned into a two-week break turned into a Christmas break turned into a holiday sabbatical.

Returning is awkward. I feel quite shy– as if I need to introduce myself, as if I started out a class and then was sick for six weeks and came back and nobody remembered me. In that sense blogging is a very lonely business; quite often it's an exercise in launching one's thoughts into cyberspace and never knowing whom they might run into, as if each blog post were in a little escape pod and I was the mother-ship, sending out signals into the void to see if anyone is out there.

Of course, I know you're out there– you faithfuls who always click the link when I post it on Facebook– or who have subscribed– you who send me encouraging comments or messages or emails, whom I could name as the people who motivate me to keep writing, to keep on launching those little escape pods because I know there's life out there and those lives like what they find inside the pods.

There is, however, a rhythm, a tune, to the writing life, and it's one which I am trying to learn– more intentionally, now that school is over. Academic writing is the killer of creative writing; it is the musician who plays off-key during the whole symphony– it spoils creativity. When I have finished writing an academic essay there are several hundred other things I would rather do than write creatively, even cleaning bathrooms or going to the gym.

But now, thank heaven, Academic writing is over forever (please no one mention "master's degree" if you love me!) and what I feel to be my biggest mental block is crumbled, and now I'm free to find out how to be a Writer. A real, live one, not just a pretend one. Do not mistake me. I feel very much as if I'm still eight years old and pretending, but at what point does a scribbler become a writer? At what point does a (lower-case) writer become a (upper-case) Writer? (Would a Writer know whether I should have said an (upper case) Writer instead of a (upper-case) Writer?)

I think I just have to keep on pretending, and scribbling, and writing, until someday the pretend becomes true. Maybe someday I'll know it. Perhaps I shall wake up one morning with the dramatic conviction that somehow I have arrived, that in some mysterious fashion I have been transformed from a girl who likes to write into a true, honest-to-goodness Writer. But I doubt it. I have never heard of anyone who had that experience. Rather, I have read over and over that those people whom we think of as "Writers" were people who liked to write and kept on doing it no matter what, and then people started paying attention to what they wrote. I don't know if anyone will ever start paying attention to what I write, but I'm trying not to let that matter to me. The only thing I have a choice in is whether or not to keep writing.


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