Tangental Lines

Writing is my catharsis. It really always has been since I can remember putting pen to paper that very first time with the thought, “I am going to write my own story and it will be the best story.” I was in 3rd(?) grade… and the best story ended up looking very much the same as Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of Unicorns. Yet I have scraps and notes of emotions (very rarely all collected in the same location) that document my life and the emotions going through it.

But I find myself unable to write about this moment:

Inside of me, there a rustle-drag that echoes through my head. The scratch of wood on soft, sandy dirt. It’s the mental equivalent of the line being drawn. There is a part of me, an emotional part, that I am learning was always there. But it never had a name or a title. Without these things, it was a wayward thought. Now, I am beginning to learn it is so much more.

All I want to do is ask others… Others who have lived and made decisions, and found love, only to find that who they thought they were is incomplete. That to deny any longer would actually begin to cause more strife than simply dragging the revelation blinking into the sunlight.

I wish to shout to the world, “I am _____ !” But whispering it in the dark is all I can say for now.

Then one wonders……

If you were raised as <noun 1>. And something you’ve always felt was only a coincidence is suddenly proclaimed as <noun 2> to you, with reasons and documentation and the complete non-judgement of your coincidences. Then would this be reasonable to accept, with your own soul-searching and research, that maybe you are <noun 2>? Finally, if so, how do you then explain to everyone you know that what they all assumed, which was <noun 1> like normal, actually isn’t who you are?

What next?

The Courage to Write

ImageI am reading a new book. I found it in a sporadic stroll I have started recently of “how-to” books for writing. As I slowly wade through, picking my way on each word and paragraph like an explorer through swampy land, I am realizing things. The sedate pace is not because the book isn’t amazing — it definitely is — and I recommend it for any who are struggling to believe in their writing. It’s because something about each phrase resonates so profoundly within me that I cannot rush. There are a hundred things clamoring for my attention right now, and I continue to come back to this book.

“Faulkner had the courage to accept that flawed work (flawed to him anyway) was better than none at all.” – Ralph Keyes, pg 27

That line accompanied by the facts that I respect Faulkner’s work, the section in the book on writing about what you are afraid to write about, and the crazy response to a short, throwaway post here on the emotions I needed to let out to sleep has thrown into sharp relief what I have been hiding from.

Book 1 needs rewriting not editing. 

Let me outline the differences for my own frame of mind. What I wrote last night was emotional and resulted in a gripping snippet. The opening chapter of my book 1, no matter how I edit it, falls flat. Is it bad? Essentially, I don’t think so. There are elements and emotions there that work well, but it was written by a complacent girl who didn’t live or die by her writing. Alright, that’s a bit melodramatic but truthful enough. I lost my job over my writing, I refuse to lose my heart too.

Right now, I am prepping for NanoWrimo 2012. It’s probably cheating to rewrite the book again. But I was worried about having enough prep to write book 2 on a shaky book 1. I think my old-standby will work instead: writing out of order. I will write 50,000 new words for this November, but they officially don’t have to all come from the same novel.

So I will rewrite the first chapter, and hopefully have enough courage to maybe post some examples of the before and after here. Either way my writing has improved and simply re-editing the same words won’t add my heart back into that opening chapter and it needs to bang.

Write what I should write. Write the way I know how. The rest will follow.