Yesterday, in an attempt to find some video footage I found my some of my old writing from high school/ early college.
I knew it was a bad idea to read it, but I did; it made me want to smack my eighteen year old self on the hands, tell her that name dropping authors and books in your writing isn’t cool, and to keep writing. It still amazes me how much my writing has improved/continues to improve, just by doing it on a regular basis. Also, being surrounded by talented people with whom I can workshop and discuss my work with has been invaluable.
I think I made a big mental shift somewhere along the way from “everything I write is perfect” to a much more realistic view of “everything I write needs revision, but (maybe) eventually it will be okay.” I think that shift came when I stopped writing because I wanted to be seen as a writer and started writing because I couldn’t understand people or my thoughts until I formed them into characters and stories. I stopped writing to impress people or to fit an image. I write now because I love it and I hate it and I love that I hate it. And because it’s. so. hard. It’s hard to turn complex thoughts into simple words; it’s hard to call up the most hidden parts of your self, dress it in bows, and parade it around in public for everyone to see. But isn’t it the same with any form of art? Paintings, music, photographs– they’re all little pieces of the artist’s soul. Even children. Our parents look at us and see half of themselves walking around in a younger body. How weird is that?
I don’t know where I’m really trying to go with this; I just wanted you to know that I’m learning. And I’m growing. Even at 21, we can still be babies.