Friday, August 17, 2012

Guest Post! - On Writing

While dearest Olivia is away....the mice have the run of the place!
I'm Aubrey, better known as runningfree in the writing world. I've come to crash Olivia's blog. >:) ...and hopefully I'll say something worthwhile. Maybe. No guarantees!

Writing and I have been on one doozy of a roller-coaster together. Definitely a love-loathe relationship. Over the past few weeks, I've been rethinking the definition of "writer." I've wrestled with it so much and no matter how much I wish Google had the answers, I'm still left struggling through the muck of trial and error all by my lonesome.

When I first started out, I plunged gung-ho into the novel writing world. "I'm gonna write a novel and get published and everyone's going to love my book and they'll buy it and I'll be rich. Oh yeah, and it'll all be easy."  (Try not to laugh TOO hard here. You might hurt yourself :P )

It didn't take long for my enthusiasm to get sucked out of me like a black hole. My novel simply didn't *sound* publishable, no matter how much re-writing I did.

In between bouts of throwing my novel across the room, I'd write poetry. I REALLY like poetry. It's short and sweet and I feel pretty good about my writing when I'm done. I need that extra little boost to my confidence to keep me going, keep me motivated.

It's taken two years for me to START realizing my own definition of what it means to be a writer and it has nothing to do with publishing. Every person has their own definition of what writing is but for me it's quite simply a heightened sense of awareness. Sounds odd but let me explain.

Over the past week, I've had to fight a fire that threatened to consume my entire front yard (don't try this at home kids!). I've pushed past my shaking fear to ride a roller-coaster and felt myself getting jerked every way to Sunday. Even though I have no interest in football, I agreed to go to my first game with my mom just so I could experience, and document in my brain, what it was like to be around all those screaming fans, to see the crazy painted people support their home team, united into one roaring body of insane energy.

In all of that, I felt like someone else was at the driver's wheel and I had the day off to watch the scenery go by. When I was tamping down the flames that jumped through my front yard like little fiery demons, despite my worries and pounding adrenaline, I noticed the tears that streamed down my face from the smoke. I noted what it felt like to inhale smoke and truly have the breathe squeezed from my lungs.
On the roller-coaster, despite my utter terror, shrill screaming and desperate prayers to GET ME OFF THIS THING, I noticed the pressure on my body from the speed. I noticed the sheer force pulling my neck in one direction and my body in another on the harsh curves.
At the football game, I took in all the colors of the ads and the streamers and the balloons and the jerseys. I noticed the two fiercely loyal opposing team fans in a sea of home team supporters.

To me, this is what it means to be a writer - to *feel* like I have never felt before. To experience more deeply, to sense things more keenly, to feel the wind on my face before an approaching storm and be able to put it into words, capture a little essence of the wind, put it to paper and let you share that electric thrill of the rumbling clouds.

I won't lie. It's REALLY nice to put my writing out there for people to read and get praised for it but people and their tastes change so much. What's popular today may not be popular tomorrow. I've written things that *I* am really happy with but others have felt it was boring and without pizzazz. They wanted gritty and nasty and bloody and gory. Just because I couldn't fulfill their needs didn't take away my status as writer, I simply needed to love my writing because I liked it, not because someone else did.

For me, publishing is the cherry on the top of the sundae. All the goodies, chunks of Snickers bars and Reese's peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, thick creamy caramel syrup, even the whipped cream, is all mixed into that big sundae. Look at all the wonderful sugary stuff you get. Why settle for a measly little cherry?....I don't even like the cherries. :)

Does your writing need a re-defining session?

Living to write -
Aubrey (runningfree)

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading your guest post! Thanks for posting! :)


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