But then of course, all the Real Writers say writing is as breathing and if Real Writers are ever Not Writing, then they are dead. It’s just not possible to live without writing if you are a Real Writer. Or you die.
So I’ve never thought seriously about trying to write. A couple creative writing courses and submissions to school contests, a few spurts of attempted novel-writing, and nearly a lot of how-to-write books that I’d read for fun rather than actually using them to “help me write”. Or whatever it is I was supposed to do. But yes, most of my creative writing happened in school.
It’s the reading, you see. I read too much to create my own worlds. Or at least that’s the only theory I have. Because I have lots of ideas that never become stories. Lots of stories that never quite make it onto paper. My dolls acted out roles in whatever story I was telling, and my mind couldn’t let go of the characters in the books I loved. (Hence, why I was relieved when I found fan fiction as a teenager. Before that, I just thought I was crazy—at least if I am, I’m hardly alone.)
But I’ve never thought much of my own writing, and one of the earliest creative writing assignments I remember—third grade—I was scolded because, before I’d even started, my title resembled that of a real book. Yes, whoever told me so, I’d read it. This story was going to be different, I just liked the idea of the attic. Lots of stories, especially children’s stories, are attic-centered. Because attics are awesome. However much I attempted to explain (not really getting further than ‘but’ and teary), I had to change the title and the concept. Timid and obedient, I wrote something that I don’t really recall and never really liked.
Up until I started this post, I hadn’t thought about that in ages.
That incident isn’t why I don’t write. All my anxiety about my art or my writing does not stem from that incident. But I can’t believe it didn’t contribute. Still, my main problem is my distractedness. Which is to say, obsessing over several series, tv and book, and still reading some ten different books in ten different subjects at any one time does not exactly lend ones mental state to creation of any kind, especially writing.
I just get more done than I think I do. Just in little pieces, ideas, like this:
Geraldine opened her phone. At her age, she was probably the only person in the entire world who didn’t actually want a phone. Essentially the only time she used it was when someone called her or she needed to find something out. She hated to be out of the loop. On anything. Her parents used to say she had big ears because she always heard whatever they were talking about, especially when she wasn’t supposed to; now she knew better than to come into contact with former lovers without your spouse’s permission. Then again, her father had never been the smartest person she’d ever met.
It was her father calling of all people. Unusual too, because it wasn’t Tuesday or six o’clock. Not to mention, her mother was the primary initiator of most calls from home.
“Hey baby girl. Your mother just got out of surgery and she’s asking for you—”
“Wait—momma had surgery! For what? Never mind, I’ll call back…just give her the phone.” Geraldine juggled her purse to the arm holding the Ross bag so she could more securely hold the phone to her ear without dropping anything.
Her mother’s voice wearied but apparently alert. “Thank you, I didn’t want to worry you girls but I wanted to remind you about Carla’s hair appointment.” Geraldine sighed. Not as lucid as she’d thought. Carla was her spoiled rotten niece, and she and her brother were rarely in contact.
What does it mean?!
I don’t remember where this came from. Not the least little bit. When I first found it on my USB drive, I wasn’t even sure it was mine. And yeah. Between this and the other I have no memory of, I’m starting to wonder if I just stole them:
His nose twitched, twitched once more as he reached his prize. He stopped, hesitated, sniffed. Then, ears came up and he jerked. The sound. Different. Seconds passed, nothing happened. His attention returned to his prize. But then! Wet. Like rain but without clouds. He ran. What insanity was this! Hyper-alert senses told him it was wrong. Now the ground was wet but the sky-water was gone, still he kept alert. The odd sound hadn’t stopped. His tail twitched back and forth in agitation. Otherwise, he didn’t move. Then. It was back! The wet! He ran again and it followed. For now he was free and he shook himself, but he heard it coming again. He reached the tree, just outside its reach. Just in case, he climbed. Tiny claws clutched the bark and he ran, bounded up the tree, hung upside down on the branch for a moment, and then heard the drops falling underneath him. It wasn’t rain. He climbed higher and relaxed. At least it could not catch him here.
Was this an assignment or something? (Title: The Squirrel) Also, regarding the first, I wish I remembered the story behind it, because it sounds fascinating. It’s like the dreams I used to have—I’d be reading, and always wake up right before the climax (come to think of it, I still get those dreams). Of course, I never remember the dream well enough to just write the story myself.
So am I a writer? Probably not. But I do hope I’ll keep it up.