I was going to write a post about goals and goalsetting, which I will still do before the New Year-but I’m super excited about something which has my brains all abuzz
Lindsay encouraged me to attend an open mic/poetry event she found on facebook. I did, and it met two of the goals I’ve recently set- connect with writers and widen my social circle. I had some meaningful conversations about voice, specifically, not being afraid to write authentically about my military experience. I talked about the discipline of rewriting, about exposition, about the importance of being connected to other people who are into words. I basically had a personal writer’s workshop in a bar.
So this stranger, who is a published, established author is pouring out advice-great advice. I realize something-holy crap, he views me as a writer. Because I am. I’m not published, I don’t have any completed work, but, I am a writer.
This is powerful. This is some Mufasa/Simba shit.
I have the ability to write at least an hour a day, and more on most days, if I focus. I have classes where I’m refining technique and developing chops. I have readers. I have this blog, which constantly causes me to ask 1) Is this true, is this what I want to say and how I want to say it and 2) Is it necessary/helpful/beneficial.
One thing blogging doesn’t let me do is rewrite and refine things. Sure, I catch typos or clean up a muddled thought, but for the most part, I write a post, proof read it twice, and publish it.
I’ve tried writing posts in advance and scheduling them to hit the site automatically, but my blog posts don’t usually resonate the same with me if they’re not posted immediately. It’s not a good process for my workflow.
So I don’t get a great deal of practice rewriting, which is hard and sucks and I hate it. However, I need to be intentional about developing the skill. Outside throwaway facebook jokes and personal blogs, everything I put my name on has to be carefully crafted with pride. I’ll keep writing, and reading, and taking classes. I’ll work at writing- it’s a vocation. It’s not something to be pulled out of ether, plated, and served. Work takes time and energy. I also need to be serious about increasing my output. Before, I viewed writing as something to help blow off steam from my job, like something I could do to express myself which didn’t require as much clean up as oil painting or woodblock printing.
Note to self: do more block printing, because it is awesome.
In other words, I was damaging my writing by not holding myself to standards of excellence.
I accept the challenge.