Sunday, February 27, 2011

Writing... with creativity

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

painting by gerard ter borch

I have to admit something... 

A secret that I have carried around with me for years. 

Here goes:

I have always thought of myself as a writer.

There I said it. What's the big deal, you ask? Well, I don't really write.

So... thinking of myself as a writer is really -- what's the word? -- lame.

But, in an attempt to not be so lame, and to make myself actually be the person I think I am, I've decided to write a story.  It has been years since I have even tried to write creatively. It is a very different beast from that which I have written over the last 10 years: academic papers, legal research, a handful of news and magazine articles, and an overly sentimental essay remembering a deceased family member. 

Not. One. Story. 

Until now! 

(Do you like my dramatic use of spacing and punctuation?! I am getting so creative already!)

I spent some time last summer traveling alone through England and Scotland. And, like all good tourists, I brought along a journal. I was totally prepared to soil the first few pages of the book with some trivial observation or account of something I did that day and then leave the rest blank, and then finally neglect the whole thing on my shelf at home (where so many travel journals have gone to die). But I didn't. I actually wrote! And I came up with the beginnings of a story that I have since been sorting out in my head.

But now I have the chance to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys...not nearly as cool a phrase) and WRITE.  Not just think about writing. Not just talk about writing. But really write!

I've done 11 pages (11 whole pages!) and it makes me feel a little high. And when I'm not feeling horribly stuck, I'm having a ball. I think it makes me happy. Who'd a thought that something I was into in high school would still be cool?

So, I'll keep you posted. I'm hoping there will be 11 more pages to boast about soon. (and then 11 after that, and.... well, you get the idea.)

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