My own private Idaho...
I'm currently going through the list of questions from Chapter 47 - Notice, Intent, Act in Fierce on the Page. Like Artist's Way exercises they pull thoughts and insights I generally haven't given much thought too and give voice to them.
"What makes me want to sit down and write? And what keeps me there?" Not why, but what this time and I do believe it is the desire to know more, discover and learn. What keeps me there are the aha moments, the free flow of thought, ideas randomly popping into my head, the synchronicity of a resolution I hadn't even been aware of needing. So what is stopping or has stopped me.
"When do I avoid doing the writing I intend to do?" In the past when I was feeling emotional or stressed, there were some things I didn't want to think about. I didn't want to cry or get mad all over again and avoided writing until the feeling passed I know many writers work through their angst on the page. I had a tendency to block. I didn't like pouring all those feelings out on the page where they can be seen in black and white or red or purple or whatever color pen I'm using that day. I've always processed thing in my mind, then let it go. I didn't want to publicize it.
Maybe its fear someone else would get the wrong impression, when they are feelings of the moment that have passed but others might take it the wrong way. I've always been a very private person when I comes to my emotions and thoughts. And I don't like repeating myself, rehashing things. It's done and over with. Ha! Life really doesn't work that way. James and John have memories like elephants and don't always let things go. Things I think that have been worked out, come up again days, maybe months later.
But isn't that what makes a writer successful? Taking all those thoughts, feelings, past experiences and using them to create. I could be like Joan Didion who melds and shapes past true events into something that it's not. Is that turning it into fiction or just reshaping the truth, molding it into something unique, entertaining. Won't people who know the writer and experienced the event say, 'oh her perceptions are all wrong.' Or maybe they won't recognize themselves at all because its totally been forgotten. Then through rewriting the event, the writer not only creates beauty but finds letting themselves bleed all over the page, a cathartic experience.
What I love about writing is the same as what I hate. What it reveals, what I feel. What I make the characters feel. Or rather I'm the conduit for the characters so they can reveal their stories. The free flow of ideas, creating new ones, molding and shaping, both fiction and non fiction. I have a feeling I've been and will keep repeating myself a lot. The flash non fiction classes and private but not private essays have taught me to face those things I'd prefer be left buried. It's helped me to sort my thoughts, giving them voice and excising them from my system. Also teaches me to not be so distant, helping me to take the blinders off and really see life. As an introvert, I tend to avoid crowds. The loud and hectic wild masses. I can't think because its overwhelming so I put on blinders, the virtual ear muffs and blend so as to not be seen. Just let me get in, get out. I'm working on being more observant, more open to experience.
So where is this leading? To my own private Idaho - My promise to write month. I've committed to MyProWriMo - each month, either a theme or a challenge. Like 52 Books in which I've established monthly themes for reading challenges, I think I'll brainstorm themes and/or ideas for future months. Right now I'm taking it one day, one month at a time. So far, so good.