October 21, 2009
October 11, 2009
so, it seems to me that a lot of people like to tell young writers who are just starting out, just learning, that in order to become a better writer you have to write everyday.
i want to believe that the more you write, the better you get. i want to believe that there's a clear cut path to getting better, and i want to be on that path. especially when the people who endorse that path are people that i really really admire, like lorrie moore and many others. and you know, i do believe it. i believe that if you write everyday you will become a better writer. i mean, why wouldn't you? but i don't write everyday, and as a teacher told me sophomore year, we do not live in a writer's world. what she meant by this is that everything in our environment prevents writing. i realized this was true. even ipods stop me from writing. not paper writing, but thought writing. the kind where you come up with lines, sentences, what have you, in your head while just walking around or riding the train (these two activities currently take up 98% of my time.) you spend that time walking around with someone else's words in your head instead of your own, and it gets in the way.
the other tough thing about writing is that no one really cares if you do it. i don't mean this in any kind of self-effacing way, but really. no one cares. if you stop writing, no one really cares. i have a lot of friends who write, a lot of friends who i care about deeply. but if they stopped writing, no. i wouldn't care. and i don't think that they would care if i stopped writing. and i don't think my teachers would care if i stopped writing. and after a few years, i probably wouldn't care either and THAT IS A SCARY SCARY THOUGHT. writing is very fragile. luckily i live with a writer, one of the ones i care about, who understands and lets me eat her left over spring rolls while i complain when i get home from work, and i know we're all afraid.
i want to do a better job as a writer. i haven't been "showing up for myself", as a teacher put it freshman year. i went to talk to this teacher about my situation, and after i explained in a convoluted, "oh it's not a big deal, whatever, you knowww," but actually pretty concerned way, he advised me to go look for it.
so maybe the way you look for it is by writing. and how you write reflects how you're looking. sometimes writing is something that's lost like your keys, and you HAVE TO FIND IT RIGHT NOW or else you can't leave the house, and you're frustrated and you're making so many piles in order to find it. other times i think it's lost like a shirt that you want to wear, but you can't find it so you just watch 8 episodes of 30 rock, i mean, uh, wear a different shirt. other times, it finds you and this feels like a snow day. like class getting cancelled. like an accident. and then you're not sure how it happened, or if it will ever happen again.