To start off with a cliche, I have not written a blog in a few days because I haven't known what to say. Apparently I'm expecting some brilliant idea to come along and slap me across the face. Maybe I'm under the impression that some interesting notion will swirl around me for awhile, embed itself in my chest. That is, only after it slaps me in the face, expressing that I should always have something to write about. After all, that is what the quote at the top of my blog says: "...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise."
Well, unfortunately, I do have a doubt in my current self-creativity. In fact, Purdue's independent daily student newspaper, "The Exponent," has been accepting works for its literary edition, which will be published next week. The small, beige box has appeared on the front page of the paper for the last few weeks, announcing that individuals need to have their poems, photos, short stories, and illustrations in by today's deadline. So what did I do? Completely space it off. Yes, me. I completely forgot about an opportunity to have my work "advertised."
As such, I have been scrambling for the last two days to try and scrape up a new short story...one about divorce. However, by 2:00 this afternoon, I was only satisfied with the first three paragraphs of a more than 2,400 word short story. I so did the cowardly thing: I submitted something that I wrote more than a year ago. Granted, I am proud of that story. I can remember when I read it aloud to my creative writing class. My fellow classmates, as well as my professor, loved the visuals; the connotations; the conflicts with Midwest conservatism and modern-day acceptances.
There was another poem I could have submitted as well, but there were no guarantees as to which piece-the poem or the short story-would be published. However, I am not completely satisfied with the poem, either. First of all, there's the title, "He." Now, I'll tell you this: I'm not very good with titles. I'm terrible, in fact. I usually have to have input from others in order to figure one out. Furthermore, I will probably change the title of a short story, essay, or poem several times before settling on something that I finally deem 'satisfactory.' For example, my above mentioned story has had several titles, one of which was "Crossways." After being changed several more times, I have finally settled on "Some Men Do Go Both Ways."
I know that when I finally read the literary edition that is printed, that I will feel completely inadequate. When, for instance, was the last time I tried to be creative? More than a year ago. That, in itself, is quite frightening. No wonder people who are more gifted and talented and skilled than me exist...I haven't been trying! What's more, I think I have forgotten how...
I can remember when I first discovered that I really enjoyed writing. I was probably eight or nine at the time, and I had a guilty pleasure of writing pointless poems, much like Shel Silverstein. You know, ones titled, "An Alligator is Eating My Head" and "Yo-Yo" and "Where is My Banana?" My personal goal, at the time, was to write a thick book full of similar near-nonsense poetry.
I wonder what happened to that dream. Maybe I gave up on it when I wanted to be a singer in fifth grade and started writing "songs" instead. Maybe I gave up because I realized that some people were better than me. Or, perhaps, I gave up because it was too difficult. Now, I regret not embracing the ability and willingness I had to write when I was that age. Today, I have to force myself to sit at my computer and hack out a few lines. Heck, when I was peddling out my untitled story about divorce yesterday, I 'motivated' myself via the drinking of three Mountain Dews. (And, for the record, I have suffered from a sugar crash all day because of that indulgence.)
I can honestly say that I do get jealous when I look at some people's work. I think, Man, I wish I could do that. Imagine what I could do with that creativity and skill and expression. I can also say that I understand why some people try to plagiarize: when an individual finds a work they really enjoy, respect, etc., they might try and "write" like that author, because that particular piece of work bests represents the exact style that individual wants to represent.
I think that may be problem; maybe I haven't found my "style" yet. There are too many genres that I enjoy, so perhaps I am influenced by all of them and have yet to completely develop my identity in words. I don't know. I even almost wish this blog had more of a meaning, instead of just me rambling about creative writing...where, for instance, am I getting with this discussion?
I suppose I wish that I could find a monumental style; have the ability to develop words and sentences and descriptions that bury themselves into the folds of my readers' brains and leave them thinking...after all, I always want to make an impact. Why not do it with words?