Thursday, January 28, 2010

What to Write?

I have been writing ever since I could physically write. I don't know that I would classify myself as a writer; of the many labels I claim and metaphorical hats that I wear, the one of writer is not something I apply to myself. I can write, obviously. I enjoy writing. But I would feel like a fraud calling myself a writer before naming off all of my other, more notable, occupations.

My childhood stories were usually centered around a character with whatever physical shortcoming I had just learned about. I distinctly remember a story of a rabbit in a wheelchair and a story about a man who was albino. I also remember writing a story about spiders because in third grade, we studied spiders across the curriculum for, probably a whole nine weeks. When I was in fourth grade, my favorite animal was a cheetah (who's wasn't, really?), and I wrote a story about cheetahs that year. I remember going into fifth grade and trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a paragraph, only to have it occur to me a few hours later that I had been writing in paragraphs for years without even knowing it. And then, I'm not really sure where my creativity went.

In the past seven years or so, maybe longer, my writing has suffered for the specific reason that I try too hard. This blog is effortless; I don't have to think about it, analyze the big picture, make characters realistic or different than I am. I can just write to write (as long as I don't rant, says Brit). But the second I sit down to construct a "story" or a "novel," I just freeze up. All of the sudden, I have no ideas, and the ideas I do have are terrible. My characters are not flawed enough or way too flawed to be believable. My story is so autobiographical that it's basically a memoir in fiction clothes. I can't figure out what genre to write in or aim for. What message do I want to send? Ridiculous? I absolutely agree. But I still can't shake it. I know that I am perfectly capable of writing a better than average novel; if only I could figure out what to write it about. So, my faithful 7 followers, please let me know if you have any inspiration for me.

If you would rather, you can inspire me for blog posts as well.

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is that I suffer the same way, though I feel some of my issues lie more with "using up" my creativity and energy on lesson plans and teaching. I love my job, but it has sapped me of that spark I had. I used to be a prolific writer and even had 3 chapters of my novel down...Now I can barely even remember the definitions of the words I use in class without thinking that make my students gape at me in utter confusion much less come up with something personal and half-way decent.

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