Monday, February 23, 2009

Time for the therapeutic part of my day.
I wrote 750+ words this morning in order to keep up with my Goal of the Month(s) [because I realized that I didn't write anything for it yesterday and that I probably shouldn't count the 500+ words I wrote from the previous day as part of the day after that... Convoluted? Yes.] Though most of it is crap, it spawned an idea! The creation of... J's Writing Master List!
I am going to start a list of my story projects and their levels of completion (something tells me I've made this plan before... but never got around to it; ah, well). From that list, I can see what feels like it needs to be written - and then will know what needs to be edited or sent to the crypt.
I believe in that the quote about writing [the author of which I cannot remember for the life of me] which states that your apprenticeship as a writer is 10 years long. But I used to think that it meant taking 10 years to produce better and better work or to hone your skills into that magic fantasy place of Great Writer-dom (though being prolific doesn't always mean being prophetic).
Alas, I have slowly come to realize that is not the case. It is true, in part, that creating/editing more and more work makes you a better writer, but that is not all. I believe now that those 10 years are employed in finding your personal writing style - toying around with the ability to sit down and work on a piece or free writing or waking up at an ungodly hour to get your day's fill. That style will carry you on throughout the rest of your writing life, and those habits will help produce that Great Work that all writers aspire to create. At least, that's what I hope.
Though I have rounded out my 10 years [started at age 4 or 5, now am age 17 - 12 years, holy crap!], I am only now realizing the truth in my style. I have changed habits in my personal life so many times over the course of high school that I believe, now that that's all sorted out, the groove for my writing life has suddenly appeared as well. And I'm glad of it.
I realize that I need structure - I need lists and notebooks and frames and categories. But within that structure, I need liberation. The ability to draw maps on the middle of the page, and no lines to bar which direction I can craft prose in. I need space and time - a limit, a goal, a word count that will allow me to both produce and react to my production. And I need experiences. I always love to take writing classes and read writing books (if they're free form, that is) to get the notes on others' journeys through writing; I also love to just do something out in the world and then write about it later. This is my niche.

So, I guess that was again my emotionally prevalent ranting. Not much action in the writing life saga. To accompany this, here are the day's highlights:
Boredom dulls even the expansive wit.
As the school bell rings, I imagine the classrooms forming around me - all are an amalgamation of the exact same thing. Sure, there are different carpets, male and female teachers, chairs with backs and no chairs at all, but all things rest on the indiscriminate apathy of tests and busywork and cop cars cruising for truant kids. Only biology class provides some reprieve: fly genetics are the sujet du jour.
I leave my car keys and water bottle in the girls' locker room, bashfully ask an administrator to open it for me, and gather up my stuff. Thank goodness for the new lock which Da ran out for last night - the last one was two tugs too far into the land of frustration. The faint sweat smell reminds me of volleyball, which was disastrously funny despite (or maybe because) the orgasmic noises of the other teams as they scored. Yes! YESSS!!!
Madame is gone and I idly overhear the others as we toil to finish her mountainous grammar exercises; they discuss unfair teachers and oral presentations... and make me realize just how brief four months really is. Rather than wishing for a slow transition, my senioritis rips out like a dog without a leash and barks at me, "Let me OUT! OUT OUT! OUTTT!!!" Ah, to be an Interlake Saint in a too small doghouse...

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