Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Write on, Sistah!

To Write or Not to Write?

I was sitting on a bar stool on a Sunday afternoon with my new favorite socially liberal republican we shall call 'Tinkerbell" and the subject turned to blogs and writing.

She was telling my how writing has always been an outlet for her and that she's known its something she's always wanted to do and she very sweetly complimented MY writing on this blog (coming from her, it's a real compliment).

I've always kept a journal. My bookshelves are lined with volumes upon volumes dating back from 1994 summer camp, to my first kiss in 1996, (hey! i was a late bloomer!), first love ('98), first "time" (also '98), through college, chronicling boyfriends, achievements, pain, loss, you name it, i wrote about it. Granted, the entries became more sporadic since I've moved to dc, an entry here, an afternoon of coffeshop reflection there but it's consistently helped me through the bad times. I supposed it's a bit like prayer that way - we can't get enough of it when we need it, but it tends to fall by the wayside when things are going well.

Through the last dozen years (god i'm old) of my journaling of prose and nonsense i have never considered myself a 'writer'. Sure I know I have the ability to write well...but I write speeches well. Policy and position papers well. Essays well. Angry OpEd letters VERY well. Press releases and strategy documents well. The closest I think I've ever been to a 'creative writer' was the 'Young Authors Day' when i was 8 at which time I wrote a riveting saga of a mother leaving for the spa for the weekend and leaving her daughter alone with her father who only knew how to cook spaghetti and grilled cheese (and sadly, I was mainly chronicling life events rather than drastically deviating from reality).

So when I told this to Tinkerbell, that did not consider myself a 'writer', she gave me a strange look - "really"? And it's true. The artistic labels I associate with myself are, 'pianist' or 'artist'; and at one time, 'dancer' and 'actress' (there are those who would say 'singer', but i'm skeptical and don't like to test this theory). But 'writer'?

To me a writer is someone who creates poems, short stories and novels. Who digs deep down and creates worlds, and beauty through literary technique and grammatical sculpture. Who takes risks and expresses something 'other-worldly'. I believe it to be a much more personal and daring form of expression. I don't believe I have that skill. I don't believe I am that brave. I don't believe I even possess the educational tools necessary to hone such a skill (i.e. I was NOT an English major, i can diagram a sentence in Latin English, doubtful, I've never taken a creative writing class in my life ...the list of handicaps goes on.).

And why the diatribe you ask? Well, as many of you know, today marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month and many of you have been very sweet (if not outright peer pressuring me) to join you in this 50,000 word sprint over the course of November. Well, I have registered, but honestly, I have yet to decide whether or not to take the challenge. Perhaps I'll put my own non-fiction twist on it. But my current hectic schedule leads me to think I'll opt for keeping my ranting and drama for myself instead of passing them off to fictional characters.

At any rate...I do hope Tinkerbell decides to share what she comes up with :) Woman is amazingly gifted.

Write on, Sistah!


No comments: