The Write-Off

Do you write? Cause I write.

I want to first be perfectly clear: I still need help and am still lost. But I still enjoy writing. I love it even more if someone besides me likes it. So why don’t I do it more often?

Who knows. Excuses. I’m stressed. Writers’ block. I need a real job. It’s tough to get over the “I’m not gonna be famous overnight” thing. The usual. Life. And then there’s the constant beckoning of social media, where I often write at length (the book of the face and Twitter, if you’re into that).

I love language. I use the dictionary every day. That’s what it’s there for. I don’t have a photographic memory. In the 3rd or 4th grade I burst into tears because I couldn’t master restaurant (resteraunt, surely!). I’m either excited to know I nailed it, or excited that I caught an error in the making. The thesaurus is another best friend. I’ve been using one since…I can’t remember, only that the highlighter soaked through the pages and it eventually lost its covers. Words are a-MAZING. Reading a good book can make me squirm. Finishing a great book might leave me in stunned silence. All it takes is that one well-worked sentence, the one with the offbeat rhythm, and the colorful but succinct description that takes you exactly to the author’s desired destination.

fulton streetI originally thought this would be about fiction. And I think it still will be. It’ll probably be more observational, because I now live in New Brooklyn, where Williamsburg is its own borough and I can reminisce about the days Fresh Direct wouldn’t deliver past 11205. And yet I can walk around the corner from a busy bus stop on the coldest day in 2013 (about 40 degrees) and see half-naked men praying as if in a confessional. And if I just blurted this out, you probably wouldn’t believe me (I am prone to slight exaggeration, but only when it serves the story—I promise).
So you’ll see me, and my stuff. I’ll pong it back and forth between social media. I’d love some artistic inspiration and am partial to visuals (photography, paintings, et al.). I finally, finally got to Rome a few years back, and anxiously got through security and was given earphones and took the fastest bathroom break ever and only then was taken on a hurried yet thorough tour of the Vatican. And I very literally gasped at the grandness, the volume of it all. There were rooms full of art the building simply could not feature due to lack of space. Some of my tour pictures were out of focus because my hands were shaking. How could I not be inspired? A week in an alcove there and I’m sure I could churn out, at the least, a decent novella.

pastel frida kahloI’ve been online a long time. So I’m used to some things that might make others wary. Like strangers chatting me up. Having long-distance Web friends. Having strangers email me, or message me, or throw out advice. It’s not weird to me, although it probably should be…mmm, nah. I mentioned in passing that I loved Frida Kahlo and within a half hour received this (left) from a stranger (well, a stranger no longer; an artist named Vaughn Filmore), who saw my post through a mutual friend; his own pastel of the artist. A blogger who emailed me weeks ago asking why I stopped writing made me ask myself, Why DID I stop writing?
So keep writing me, and I’ll write you back, and since creative people feed off one another, we’ll all be writing and swapping ideas and losing track of word counts. That’s exciting to me. I hope it is for you. So let’s just do this thing day by day and see what happens, shall we?

Next up: How a more or less normal person dreams up The Author.

Tomorrow I plan on posting the piece The Author, plus thoughts behind writing it. It was an assignment for my writing workshop and, like many of my workshop pieces, it was written spur of the moment. Although it certainly doesn’t glamorize its subject matter, this isn’t something I’d want young, impressionable people reading. Adults and parents, please use your discretion at sharing this. If you haven’t been spoiled on the subject, I’ve edited language elsewhere on the site so hopefully you’ll find a twist. Here’s the first excerpt, as originally written five (wow) years ago. (At this point it’s new to me too. Let’s see what happens.)

Continue reading “Next up: How a more or less normal person dreams up The Author.”