Voice in the Crowd

There are writers who are able to make their book(s) fly off the shelf.

There are writers who in a short period of time not only made the bestseller list but managed to influence not only the generation in which their book(s) was published but every generation that came after the first.

There are writers whose works have been taught in English classes for longer than they were probably alive.

Then there is me.

I haven’t published a book, made the bestseller list, influenced a lifetime of generations nor am I a prerequisite to become a full-fledged English major.

I’m just a run of a mill writer trying to make a name for myself in a world where the chance of someone being ten or twenty better than me.

Plus even though I got novel ambitions, I have no fucking clue how or where the hell to start.

For several years now, I have been trying to write a book entitled My Life as a Girl: A Poetic Memoir which would feature a collection of my prose and poetry. Unfortunately, I grew bored with my own writing. I’m not sure if this happens to every writer but it happens more often than not with mine. Part of me was also scared of offending the subjects of my poetry and prose. Part of me didn’t like reliving the pain and trauma associated with the pieces since I had not fully “recovered” from the chaos that was my life at the time. I just was not in the write frame of mind.

I use to be able to write and write and write until my fangas were blue and purple. I have so much to say yet every attempt to compose and settle on what to say seems more disjointed than Wile E Coyote’s attempt to catch the Road Runner. Beep beep

I suppose one could insinuate that I have a love hate relationship with writing.

Don’t get me wrong I love writing. Writing has saved my life on more than one occasion. It prevents me from making the same mistake twice; even though the second time around is probably guaranteed to be an even BIGGER adventure. It gives me the freedom needed to clearly vocalize and express my thoughts, emotions and opinions without too many consequences. I also love being able to reach other people without face to face contact. Believe me putting me in front of a crowd is probably just as catastrophic as listening to a bullheaded republican spew unintelligent false truths.

On the flip side, I hate having writer’s block. Not being able to focus and compose the thoughts constantly swirling around in my mind frustrates me to no end. I hate losing the desire to finish a blog post, poem or story. Of course, it is quite possible that I lose the desire to finish because I make writing the simplest of posts seem harder than they really need to be. I strongly dislike feeling one-dimensional with my writing especially since there are so many other writers who can jump between genres, styles and characters. Clearly, I’m not trying to be like every other writer nor am I trying to be the next JK Rowling. ha even though that shit would be bloody wicked!

The truth of the matter is that even though I’ve been writing since the sixth grade. I didn’t start because my teachers encouraged me to write more. I started writing because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t understand who, what, when, why and how of anything happening that year. Life as I knew it to be changed without my consent and my twelve year old heart was broken beyond belief. I was a shy, dorky and very sheltered only child in a family full of adults. I had friends but only saw them at school. I spent too much time alone with my thoughts.

It was during that spring semester of my sixth grade year that I learned pens and paper would become the absolute best friends for an overly imaginative overly analytical preteen. Plus I was the only child in a family full of adults. Honestly, writing was the only place to turn because there was no way anyone in my family would understand what I was feeling.

Enter the art of writing. Writing saved me from behaving like a crazier person than I already had the potential to be. Writing allows me to distress. Writing helps me to calm the chaos in my mind and heart. Writing is there for me when no one else can be or when there isn’t enough ice cream, cheesecake or boozes within my reach.

See writing allows me to dream the unbelievable and gives me confidence and courage. Writing doesn’t allow me to run away from my fears and emotions because I’m forced to “look” at them on the computer screen. There is something about carefully combing through my thoughts and putting those thoughts in a document or even a blog post such as this that feels almost as if I’m in therapy.

Yesterday I watched Julie and Julia. If you’re a writer or a blogging novice, I recommend watching this movie because honestly it highlights the struggles of a writer/blogger. I find myself having the same sort of emotions about my writing and blog as the main character. I have memoir/novel ambitions but I’m not sure if anyone would read a whole book about a foul-mouthed citified country girl. I’ve always dreamed of being a well-known writer. A writer that not only tells a great story but somehow influences a generation/culture much like Dr. Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Zora Hurston, Sandra Cisneros and ee cummings.

but to be perfectly honest I’m not sure if I’m a “real writer”. I don’t necessarily follow the quote unquote standard rules of proper English not the language writing. I studied Journalism in college which does not always follow the same grammar rules as those majoring in English. Trust me that shit is so damn confusing at times. Don’t get me wrong I can tear a paper to shreds if asked to critique someone else’s writing. But when it comes to my own writing, man forget about it. The saying is true that we are our own worse critic. For me, I’m too critical about my own writing especially when my pieces are displayed for the public.

Does anyone else have a hard time producing quality work that is both satisfying to John and Jane Q Public as well as to themselves? And is it as excruciatingly painful as it seems?

The truth of the matter is this… I want to be heard. I have novel ambitions and I dunno where to start. I’m the shy kid in the middle of the crowd who is metaphorically screaming at the very top of her lungs and waving her arms like a lunatic. That girl at the back of the class doodling ferociously in her notebook what could be the next big thang!

Sigh I’ve always been that girl who always let my writing do all the talking because honestly that’s where I always tend to shine. Plus I’ve always been too awkwardly shy to eloquently express myself with the confidence and finesse I tend to have when I write. Perhaps it’s just a matter of mind over courage times confidence. Who knows? I suppose I just have to wait until it whatever it may be comes to me.

Holla if ya hur me….

The Southern Yankee

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