Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why writing was easier in high school

"Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all"
- Charles Bukowski

I have been in a writing slump for... three years. When I was in high school, I wrote on a daily basis. Assignments, interest based reports and far too often, stories that replaced the math work I was supposed to be focusing on. There are all kinds of writing that I could focus on: at the root, there is fiction or non-fiction. These then break down into all the various types and genres- fantasy, contemporary, historical, autobiographical and memoir, biographical, reports, studies... then after that, there is your focus, for fiction you have character, plot, event driven stories. I have always written plot and event driven stories. Friends have told me that while I am unable to write script style, my stories have read more like movie scenes by chapter. I use this to make up for my perceived inadequacies in character.

"The better work men do is always done under stress and at great personal cost"
-William Carlos Williams

When I was in school, words and characters and plots came easily. I have decided that this is due to the fact that I ignored everything else in favor of writing. I have a report due next week, worth 30% of my grade? Oh well. I have a chapter I want to try and get out for tomorrow. Oh, my report is due tomorrow? Guess I should start it... I have concluded that I was lazy but focused. I hated my life so I read and I wrote, but over the past few years, my life has grown. Its not amazing or perfect, but there are enough of those little moments of bliss that I am content in mediocrity. I don't feel the hunger to try and get my work done, and I don't experience the anger that makes me throw it away in a rage and use foul language to describe it. I can not recall the last time I wrote a poem I was proud of or wanted someone to ever read it. I struggle to come up with an "exciting" plot or concept now. So when I find one, I throw myself into planning and story line because I feel unable to write the story itself. It's for this reason I have routinely written with other friends and contacts as well.

"Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer"
-Barbara Kingsolver

For the first time in my life, I am not focusing on on what story to tell to get people interested. I'm attempting to focus on the people who will make the story. Bear with me, as I am out of practise with writing beyond the planning stage! I am writing "unscripted". Also: be excited- I'm writing unscripted! But I have put myself on a self-imposed time line. I have two months, start to finish, along with my regular updates, here.

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