Writing, and all it’s charms

I graduated, yeah, from a masters program. MFA in creative writing. In all that glory, I find I still don’t have what I need. I still feel lost and/or confused as to how and when I keep writing, and if I am even good enough…will they like it, will it grab anyone, am I the only one who likes my stories? The trials of writing a story or novel can take endless hours, for some. I am one of those. I pound it out when I feel like it, and simmer on it, the story, while I sit around and wait. But, what am I waiting for? To keep the writing going is the hardest part of graduating. My deadline is now on my own regard. I also don’t have a professor looking over my work letting me know what works and what doesn’t. To keep up the writing, the story telling, to share it with the world is not the easiest task.

Perhaps it’s my dialogue about the writing, calling it a task creates a motivational blocker. No, really?

I have to change the narrative, writing is now my art – paid or not – a job that will share my voice. Why I started writing to begin with was for my voice to be heard, you can’t silence me in my art. So, if I feel so strongly about the story and a character’s Why, or How, and their outcome – then why do I feel like the writing is a task? Because when I’m in it, and the character is talking, it is the most enjoyable part of my day. I tell myself to change the narrative, but change it to what?

Change is the only constant format of life, everything else is a crap shoot. So I take the challenge of the change that has been presented with my art. My narrative will be that writing is my art. I do it because I love it, and it’s how I can be heard…but will this change. Yes. I’m sure the doubt will strike me once a day, or more. So, to continue in this forever-changing-world that will trigger doubt, I can embrace the fear, hold it close and turn into fuel, courage, and see the charms in writing, not the task.

The changing narrative will be my challenge. I see this. I know this. Not the writing. The writing will be my charm in life.

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POEM

                             An American by Constitution

OK.
Volunteering to go fight in a war, is hard.

Hard, for the family she leaves behind.
America’s soiled by a single father

Who can’t afford the rent. While a United States
Senator falsifies his Net-worth to the IRS.

Who marches to the beat of plenty?
The CEO who’s holding it, a refugee who needs it, or

A President, who will destroy it. Pro-choice
Between men and women carry different values;

Then you add Black Awareness Day, Christians and Muslims killing each other,
Infidelity among neighbors, prison facilities for alien children…

The list can be made new everyday,
How many pages do I have here?

Now I stand ashamed of myself.
I drank too much wine, and voted too late.

And Then There’s Tomorrow

I was young, I don’t remember what age exactly but young, maybe 6 or 8 or 13. My parents would take us to church and I would hear all these things about God and Heaven, and I questioned it. I didn’t believe half the stories, I thought no way. So I asked my father one day about living and doing good, and what is the truth, or something along those lines.

I remember his face, it was gentle and scruffy and he kind of squinted, wrinkled his nose and looked up at the sky, and then at me and smiled. He said, “Well Corrie, you don’t live for the world, you just live in it and you do what you can, be honest to your heart.”

Lately this memory or saying has been going through my head, non stop, as if it’s on some kind of loop. Why??

So I thought I would write about it. However… I’m not sure what “it” is. Am I searching for something, am I not following my heart? Theses are the questions that fill up the blind space, where do I go from here.

You know that poem, “The Road Less Traveled”, Am I at that fork? What’s stalling me to walk the path I have chosen? Awe, right. The fear…..

I have been accepted into an MFA creative writing program. I’ve started my first quarter, and I am scared shitless. Do I know what I am doing? NO!! Well maybe, but I’m stalling. Slowly sliding my feet across the hot pavement. Maybe if I write about what I am afraid of, I can get over it and move forward.

Well of course, the all well-known fear, what the F*** do you want?

I have this image of me wearing amor, and I’m not standing alone. The best of the best–Faulkner, Doctorow, Chandler, Patterson, Hemingway, and more–have been right where I am now. I am not saying I’m any Doctorow or Patterson either, but I strive for it. I gotta let the fear go. Simple, Yay right. But it should be just simple. I have been reading many new and old authors lately and I can’t remember which one said it, but she/he said, “You have to write about your fears, your likes, your loses, your loves, your darkest dream.”

So this is where I begin.

I am scared to write because I’m afraid I am not at a graduate level, and I will be laughed at and fail miserably. I am scared to death to write a critical essay, It has been so long. There I said it. Now what? I guess, now I write.

Opportunity Missed

whatever-im-late-anyway-6962

Well, do what you preach, right? All summer I have been telling my boyfriends kids to go out and try new things, meet some people their own age… Tonight I could have done the same thing, but I didn’t. “Why”, I asked myself, “did I not take the time to go?” I busied myself all day with nothing around the house and when I emerged from the shower it was too late. I had a total of 15min to be ready and walk out the door. I was in a towel, half lotioned and the dog still needed tending to. I sabotaged a perfectly great opportunity to mingle and meet people who may have similar interests. If anything I may have learned what it was that drove a fellow writer into showbiz.

I was to attend a panel for the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black.” Jenji Kohen, creator, was supposed to be there. It would have been nice to hear her talk. There was a reception following the panel and I may have been able to mingle and meet some new cool people. I freaked out, silently inside and basically couldn’t leave the house. I felt like I wouldn’t know what to say, or that I wouldn’t have anything in common with them because I am not successful.

WAIT!! What? It was in this moment I found myself doubting who I am and what I have accomplished thus far. I started to think what the bigger issue may be, and realized I am feeling more displaced than ever before. I realized that I am totally alone–and not in a good way. Destructive alone-ness. Not a good place to be, so I did what any one in my shoes would do, I looked up an AA meeting. It hit me that I don’t need to be alone and that I can share my feelings anonymously in a meeting.

I am in a new city, and my only friend is my boyfriend. I need to get out and find a life outside my life before I end up codependent. I don’t want to lose myself, I like me way too much. I started to think about what I did before I moved, and I don’t like what I came up with. NOTHING. No wonder I am feeling displaced, I don’t know what to do with myself–physically and mentally.

YA YA,  last few years I was in school, graduating, pretty big deal. It kept me busy, but what about before that. OH thats right, I was at the bars drinking. Socializing all the time with cocktails in my hands. It was easy to stay away from it all when I was studying, but now, in a new city, no friends, no social life, no existence to the outside world–beyond Facebook, if that even counts… I am finding that I am losing steam, drive, motivation. This is a little scary.

I learned how to live without the alcohol, meaning not drink. But now I am finding that I need to learn how to live with myself without the distractions. What is it that is stopping me from pursuing success, not by anyone else’s standards but my own. Why am I not doing what I really want to do? Do I even know what I really want to do?

Yes, Yes I do. I want to write, be educated, teach others to live up to their potential… hmmmmm, can’t do that unless I am doing it. Coulda, woulda, shoulda… will leave you crying, wondering. I guess next time I will go to the “panel” no matter how displaced I feel, its better than missing out on life.