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Monday, December 29, 2008

 

A Day's Dose of Real World Musing

When I dabbled as a writer when I had a few minutes to get away from studying, I never thought my non-academic writing was any good; now, as I write more as a hobby and a way to foster my competitive nature with contests, I see a lot of growth in a relatively short amount of time. I thought, for today, I would share some of my “musings” and see what your experiences have been with this transition in your own work.

My procrastinating-mode end products were flat and boring poems and short stories, even when they did have some really amazing lines or ideas loosely defined behind what I will crudely define as “verbal vomit” as clichéd as that phrase likely is. When the short stories were required in grade school, forget it; I'd write the first idea coming into my head that I thought no one else would, didn't provide enough of a sketch or development, and threw on hackneyed conclusions! I seriously don't know what any of my teachers saw in them. Academically, a lot of my grades were stellar, the longer and more technical writing, the better, but I could never break out of the notion of writing in my free time, because English classes were so boring growing up!

How things have changed. As I mature, experience life and its obstacles, I have somehow opened that element my writing lacked. In one of my first posts on this blog in the fall, I wrote about how we all can be someone else's muse, but now, I realize, it's more than a person, or even, a situation...

It is both the plot development in real time and the emotion encapsulated in the free sequence of thought or theme, no matter how unique (or how universal) it is in our lives. We live life, so then in turn, we can use it. As a pragmatist, I was never really in tune with my emotions or cognizant of how they could make art; I could appreciate it in literary critiques I wrote, but I couldn’t apply or follow through.

While all of this additional material requires more editing and revising (i.e., having to go back and add a paragraph, or go through line editing when I realize a better arrangement), it is finally allowing my short story or poem to thoroughly unfurl itself, not come out as too brief or lacking development. I'm already hearing on FanStory and Fieldreport the pros and cons to this art form in my novice attempts, along with a lot of praise and reflection from others. Adding the dimensions I now see in life rectifies the flaw my writing had outside of academia before. I never gave the artistic exposure and emotional development to my creative writing assignments growing up what they really needed: a foundation. This is to be a little less hard on myself, a foundation life needed to twist and turn and grow up a bit for me (the writer), and now, my audiences to see, especially in recent times.

Maybe I'm slow to grasp this. How have you noticed a change in your writing over time? Or, was all of this something already serving you well as a writer before?

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