What’s Next?

I realize I should probably just wait and post this tomorrow because I don’t think I’ll be finishing my current book tonight, but I’m really impatient and motivated today. This is a pretty personal post, so if you don’t mind that then feel free to read ahead. At the beginning of this summer I had my fourth knee surgery so I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. (It’s a fairly intense surgery, but since I’ve had it in the past I had good idea of what I was getting into beforehand. I’m also doing a lot better now so no it’s no biggie.)

My biggest hope has always been to express myself in some way and this blog feels like one of the only ways I can do so.  The only stipulation is I don’t post as nearly as much as I would like to. In general, one of my biggest continual goals is working on self-discipline. This goal is aimed towards every facet of my everyday life, but in general, I want to apply it to the way I read and write. One thing my writing professor said that stuck with me was the people who become writers are the ones who sit down and make themselves write every single day. The people who have self-discipline and push themselves to keep going are the ones who survive, and I intend on being one of those people. I guess I just need some sort of starting point.

But at the same time, do starting points ever reveal themselves? Maybe not. For example, I have this idea for a short story I want to write. I know exactly how I want it to feel and the atmosphere I want to create, but I haven’t really sat down to write it and I’m afraid that if I keep putting it off I’ll lose the inspiration to write it. It’s whiny, but hey, it’s true.

The same writing professor I mentioned a little bit ago marked up my short stories I turned in and wrote some great comments, but I can’t help but feel what I’ve written is pretty average. But maybe that’s the point? Maybe feeling over-critical about your own work is the best way to push forward because you know you care that much. That every syllable of every word and each sentence you write will face a certain direction and move in a specific way. There are a lot of things I’ll never be, but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I think the first time I thought of writing as something I could be good at was in fifth grade. I had always loved reading about the Titanic* (*not because of the movie, but because the idea of being on a sinking boat in a freezing ocean horrified me) and I wrote about it for a fiction assignment. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote word-for-word, but I remember the feeling of writing it and seeing the picture of the boat I had colored in next to it. It was displayed on the wall for back to school night and it was the first piece of writing I was truly proud of.

Then came the eighth grade poetry writing assignment. I composed a portfolio of poems, each in a different style, for a class assignment. One day before lunch my teacher called me to her desk. I’m not exactly sure how she asked it, but she pulled me aside and said, “how did you come up with the ideas to write these [poems]?” I explained to her that my dad was a great writer. She then perked up and asked, “so your dad helped you?” I then replied no, he hadn’t. I had written them myself. The knack for writing had come from him.

I miss my writing class a lot. It wasn’t perfect, but every day the professor expected us to send her a daily notebook of 100 words Monday through Sunday. A lot of people hated the assignment, but I adored it. Writing at least 100 words every day kept me accountable and I loved venting to someone I knew probably wouldn’t read what I had written. The fact that my homework was something I loved to do made the class that much more exciting (although a bit soul-sucking at times). However, I was my own worst enemy last semester in a lot of ways. I closed myself off because I felt like I was protecting myself by doing so, but writing (and C of course) was my cure. This summer I hope to find the benefits of that cure once again. I’m a lot happier now, but I have my moments. I want to satisfy every version of myself—whether it be the ten-year-old me or the thirteen-year-old me. I like to do these check-ins where I imagine myself in the future and reach out to whoever that is. And then when the moment comes, I reach back to the past version of myself like some sort of weird parallel universe thing. Yes, I made it. We’re here and we’re okay. I mostly use it for high-anxiety situations, (i.e. presentations, big tests, interviews, etc.) but sometimes I use it to check-in with my goals. I think that trying to nail down aspirations is a big part of life, but I wonder if the life of a creator or artist (not sure if I am either, but I’d like to be) has to be so dramatic and unstable. I don’t want my life to feel like that, but I want to create some form of art. I want my voice to be heard, and I want to feel some shift from the world around me; some response that says what I’m doing is right and I’m heading in the right direction.

Anyways, my goal starts with this blog. We’ll see what happens. I’ve made a lot of unfulfilled promises in the past so I won’t stress myself out or self-flagellate over a couple of missed posts, but I can’t keep sitting by. I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t start writing. So here’s to trying to be a better version of myself.

On a lighter note, I’ve put up some lights on my new bookcase and I couldn’t be happier!

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