Hi! So I've secretly always wanted to do one of those writing-goals-for-a-month type challenges, but I've never felt like I could attempt NANOWRIMO. Because who has enough ideas for a novel that they could write it in a month?! Okay, apparently a lot of people. But I don't. I can't even pretend I do. But I do want to write.
So. I've decided to take part in Laurie Halse Anderson's Write Fifteen Minutes A Day challenge. Because Laurie Halse Anderson is awesome, and because I can write for fifteen minutes a day. Right? Right. Well, I mean, I guess we'll see.
Mostly just because writing in a public sphere is how I'm now sort of used to writing, and because I think it makes me write better, I've decided to post my fifteen-minute-a-days on here. I don't really care if anyone reads them and they may be boring and I do hope to start up on more, actual blog posts this month, too, but, there you go, there's my unnecessary disclaimer. Sometimes I remember Richard Hoffman at Emerson telling us we never need disclaimers for our writing, but I'm still learning, Richard Hoffman.
Day One Prompt: What things do you allow to get in the way of your writing? Be specific, detailed, and brutally honest.
Laziness and insecurity and the right moods and time. Which I think is probably the same for a lot of people, but maybe not. I think the right mood has a lot to do with it. I have two right moods, one where I feel confident and sassy and funny and I want to tell everyone every comment I have on everything and I think everything I think is awesome. This sort of feels like an adrenaline high, and sometimes I crash from it, and then immediately feel kind of silly about all those Tweets I made while I was in that high, or something silly like that. Like, why do I think I'm funny or important enough to comment on random shit like anyone cares? And then I drop into this desire to just be quiet and humble forever.
The other right mood is hyper sentimental and melodramatic mode, which often happens either when I'm actually out living life in the big beautiful world, or when I'm sitting at my desk listening to music or looking through photos and reflecting on the life I've lived in the big beautiful world. During these moods, I am all, "I have done so many things, and I have written about so little of it, relatively, and if I don't write everything down I will certainly forget it all, but how can I write about it all, and what's the real point of writing it all, does the pursuit of constant documentation take away from the actual living?" OR, I am all, "There are still so many things I haven't done, still so many roads to travel and things to see and life is short and what if I'm not doing enough and why don't I do more and you know there are people ten years younger than you who have published really successful books and stuff right?" The former is obviously preferred to the latter, but both involve my heart feeling like it is going to bust, and I like this mood a lot because it means I am excited about life and at least attempting to have some perspective about Important Things, but there is a downside to this mood too because it tends to make me feel like I am being melodramatic. Case in point: I called it melodramatic in the first sentence of this paragraph. When really, most of the time, it's not melodramatic. Why must I refer to honesty as melodrama? Because uber cool people who are shitty at being honest would critique it as melodrama? Well, fuck that. If it's what I feel and what I want to write about, then I should own it.
And this kind of writing is pretty much the kind I've always done, that I've scribbled in notebooks since I was a kid, so clearly there is Something about it that is important to me. It's the trying-to-be-funny thing which is relatively new as I've gotten used to writing for an audience. So if it's melodramatic, then, welp, guess that's just me, then. No use in trying to change myself now.
But when none of these moods are present? I'm pretty much useless. And then I feel pretty mopey about being useless. Which is why sometimes when I think about that ideal life of being a full-time writer, I don't know if I could do it. Because what if I wake up and I'm not in any of those moods? I'm never good at trying to force myself into a mood, of trying to force myself to have something to say. If I do, I usually just end up feeling even worse about myself. Which, I suppose, is why I've always been interested in trying something just like this.