The First One

A couple of years ago while I was in college, somewhere between my junior and senior terms, I began writing a book.

I wasn’t entirely sure why at the time, why that summer, those moments were what I chose to use to preserve forever my own words and side thoughts, and still, to be honest, I’m not sure now of why I chose then.  Hindsight says I was a year from graduating, in a relationship that was decaying in front of my eyes, and I needed something, anything to hold onto that would transcend what was then the “right now.”  But I’ve been around this creative stuff long enough to realize that that’s only really the surface, that below me, below you, below every single person, is the want and need to be and create something larger than us for…some reason.  Some say it’s for the control.  Others, for the fulfillment of our desire for deathlessness–and ask ten people and there’re sure to be another ten selfish reasons we do it.  But as a generalization of the whole, I contest that idea, not because it isn’t sometimes true, but because I know how I feel and why I do it, and I feel differently.

Sure, break it down and I’m probably a narcissist, but the reason I create, the reason I wrote then, the reason I continue to write now, is because, simply: I need to.  And not because of the results or the outcomes or for where it may lead me, but because it’s a part of me–it’s a part of a lot of people and I feel more alive when I do.

So back to where I was.  Where was that?  Oh yeah.  I was writing a book.  And I was struggling to make sense of exactly what that entailed.

Nothing prepares you for writing a book.  It’s like having a child, or getting married in that way (I’ve done neither so I just trust what I’ve heard from the masses). It consumes you.  Near literally, overtaking your thoughts, your routines, causing you to eke out what energy you have left today, so you don’t get steamrolled tomorrow.

It sounds fun, no?

But really–it was.  I loved the process, I did, but I really didn’t understand it, and that was rather kind of frustrating. I sought to better understand it by looking to the authors who’d done it before me, and at some point, I found something a number of them had done since before they even began their first book.

They were blogging, about writing, about the unnamed manuscript that would become their first book, and how difficult it was to keep up with it.  They were logging away their thoughts and frustrations for someone like me to read later on when I was going through the same.

So I started a blog to document my process and just talk about writing: what inspired me, what I wanted to achieve, where my drives had come from and what I was learning through the process.  And at first, it worked.  I was updating the blog every couple of days, feeling like I was accomplishing something great, but where post 1 was a discovery, and post 2 held excitement, posts 3 and 4 and 5 and so on became laborious to put out or to even think of for that matter and I quickly fell off the wagon.  Posts were months apart, and every other one was a reboot of sorts, rallying myself and anyone reading toward a new goal I had in place in my head where I would write, again, consistently for this thing I’d left straggling behind me.

My last post was like that.  That was a year and a half ago.

I think the thing that did me in was the specificity of the subject I’d honed in on.  Shortly after the summer, I began writing my senior thesis, writing fiction for classes, editing works for my university’s literary publication, and overall just stretching my writing chops too thin to allow for a novel to be written.  So I tucked it away, and all the progress I’d made (there actually was a lot of it.  I’m proud, even now, of what I got done), and the blog, now, was purposeless.  I could write about writing I guess, and I tried, but I eventually just left it behind.  I chose from the beginning to write that way and it just didn’t work.  Not that it doesn’t or couldn’t, but it wasn’t for me; I needed something more.

That’s what I plan to do here: write something more.

I will write about me, my life, my interests, anything–anything that I want to write about.  And who knows what’ll happen? It could work.  It might not, but this time something will be different:

I’ll enjoy my own writing, for the first time in a while, and write in a way that I wasn’t writing then.  I loved the manuscript and how I wrote it and what I’d done, but I didn’t like the blog.  It was blind–so was I–but I’m better now than then and have better ideas in the oven.

This is me writing. I’m rusty, but I’m writing.  That’s all this is about.

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2 thoughts on “The First One

  1. Pingback: Side Note: Why The Harbored and Homesick | The Harbored and Homesick

  2. Pingback: Not Writing and Why Being a Child is Okay – The Harbored and Homesick

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