When I was 19, I took my first strides to being a writer. I was a sophomore at the University of Guam on a clear path to getting my degree in English and Secondary Education. My calling was literature, the beacon that took any spare moment of my time. I was reading and appreciating poetry and literature.
So, at 19, I pulled out my yellow notebook, wire ring and all, and outlined the story I was eager to flesh out. In my head, the entire book played out, the beginning scenes solidified on paper. I still have that notebook and the story is still swimming in my head. Its relevance and marketability now are questionable since I concocted it in the 90s. Jet City Woman. That was the title (I listened to Queensryche). Lynn Crow. The main character.
Aside from domestic goddess duties, Navy wife duties and weaving through our new Washingtonian status in Pac NorWest, I wake up every morning with the intent and sometimes a plan to write. Yesterday, I edited two chapters of my 2/3 finished novel.
I am impatient and distracted and with each full moon, hormonal.
My daughter and I just feasted on s’mores, so now I’m energized and feeling guilty about being sidetracked. I’ve also spent part of my morning watching Kevin Smith’s Too Fat for Forty. I folded clothes and enjoyed the first of three hours, saving the rest for later. I also ordered his book, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good. I’m all about him right now, trying to squeeze out wisdom from his comedic and vulgar delivery.
In addition, thanks to CNN’s coverage of hot right now on YouTube videos, I came across Tom Fletcher. He’s a singer with the British group, McFly. His wedding speech, all 14.41 minutes of it was charming, engaging, entertaining and romantic. When I stumble upon a lead, I investigate everything encompassing that subject, so I’ve watched a number of McFly’s music videos, loving some of their catchy tunes.
So, Kevin Smith and McFly factor into this whole crazy process of writing. Sure, experts tell you to treat it like a job, sit for an hour or whatever prescribed time and just write. I did that with NaNoWriMo in November and I know I can sit and crank it out, but the creative process can be complicated. My interest in Kevin Smith and McFly right now will color my writing in some way, I’m sure. The creative process for me is more than just sitting my butt down in front of my laptop and pounding away.
I am suffering from literary constipation if you must. Something is brewing and when it’s ripe, the words will flow easier. (Like the visual in your head? Yep, that's what writers do)...
My first draft of a romantic comedy flowed easily. This was 2009. I was excited to share with two women who were part of a free writing group I joined at my local library. I printed them each a copy and we even met over coffee to discuss. I felt vulnerable since these women didn’t really know me as a person, but was honored that they had taken the time to read my crap. I call it crap endearingly, because the first drafts, let alone the first book you write are just that. I voiced this to the women when they didn’t give me a solid critique like I hoped. One lady only read the first 20 pages and the other, although she wrote notes, said “I only skimmed, sorry.” In my self-deprecating ways, I remembered walking back to the library, carrying the returned manuscripts, and said, “Well, writing is like taking a big dump. Once it’s out, you have to figure out what to do with it.”
I recall the two ladies looking at each other, laughing, “Did you really say that?”
Anyone who knows me truly knows I make the weirdest, sometimes vulgar analogies. It’s how I roll.
The only thing of value I have in this life is my ability to tell a story, whether in print, orating, writing it down or having people acting it out. That's why I'm always hoping society never collapses because the first ones to go will be entertainers. --Kevin SmithAnyway, I’m experiencing writing/literary constipation. I walk around my domestic life hoping for a sliver of time to write. Yeah, yeah, I’m blogging right now, but it’s all part of the grander creative process. I’m figuring out what project to tackle, taking in Kevin Smith and McFly’s music in the background to get my gears going again. I’m doing the warm up to the marathon writing session I know is around the corner.
Needless to say, I’ll be 39 in a few months. Twenty years after I made a conscious choice to be a writer. I am one. But, I’m hoping the cumulative effect of my life will help me produce literary nuggets I can be proud of.