Writing can be tough
My therapist is encouraging me to do more journaling.
Blogging used to be my jam. I had a LiveJournal account and it was the safest place for me to publicly complain about how terrible my life was during college. Sympathetic ears were there. It was nice.
I used to write every week on the RT site when we had the ability to search and friend and follow and discuss. Most of the community that I wrote to are no longer there.
I have a blog on my personal website (OH HAI! YOU'RE LOOKING AT IT!), but haven't felt like posting anything.
My writing comes down to the telegraphic ramblings on Twitter. And honestly…that's not writing. It's complaining on a tiny billboard that 3,000 people look at as they walk by.
Not like having an audience should matter. You're supposed to write for you, but my days are so lonely. I've lost much of my online community to progress, life, and growth…and that was before this devastating pandemic.
I miss writing. I've never thought I was any good at it. All of my literature teachers only cared about EXTREME emotion - this poem/book/story made me cry so I gave it 5 stars
I wrote a beautiful story about my Granny Ivy and submitted it to my 9th grade literature teacher. She gave me a D and a handwaving explanation of "She sounds nice, but I just don't SEE your Granny in my minds eye"
"Bitch what the fuck" was my internal monologue.
My actual monologue wasn't any better:
I started cold and quiet "The ONLY thing I left out about my Granny is that she doesn't have a natural tooth in her head and lost a breast to breast cancer."
I got louder and I didn't care "Your lack of imagination is NOT my problem. There is NOTHING wrong with my narrative project."
And walked out.
My teacher asked me to write another story. If I did, she would replace the D from the previous paper.
So I wrote.
I wrote a sham of a paper with the goal of "making her FEEL something" like she was going on about.
So I wrote about an extremely vague memory from kindergarten. It was a story about 2 or 3 kids I knew and how one of them died of liver disease, I think. I was 14 when I wrote about this memory from when I was 6 and I'm now writing about this all at age 42 so things are getting really fuzzy.
Because I wrote about a child's death from the point of view from another child and about how naturally confused I was over the concept of death at 6 years old, my teacher ATE IT UP. I didn't even use the hyper descriptive language that my teacher kept begging us for. MORE ADJECTIVES! I WANT TO SEE YOUR STORY LIGHT MY LIFE LIKE A KETAMINE TRIP
I just stuck to these friends - which we were friends, but not the Disney Channel Original Movie way I spinned it - and ended it with a dead child, images of Heaven taking in the innocent, and how "we'll always have the 6 year old in a small town equivalent to Paris" or some such nonsense.
It made her cry. It made the class cry. It made me cry.
But I was crying out of anger. I cried over how this was a fucking sham. Students who knew the kids in my story -again, small town - approached me during lunch to tell me how beautiful the story was. I calmly confessed that I wasn't completely truthful. "I only remember Tommy because he had 1 arm and we all thought that was cool. I only remember Peter because I knew the family who owned the house his family was renting, and I only remember Doug because he died. I wrote this story because Mrs. WhateverHerNameWas thought the story about my very alive and very amazing Granny sucked. Apparently it wasn't tragic enough!" My mutuals understood but they still praised my story. I would ask "What did you like about it?" and they kept coming back to "The childlike reaction to Doug's death really touched me" It wasn't the friendship or cool memories of birthday parties on farms…nope. It was the tragedy they all liked.
It broke my heart. It made me angry. I knew at 14 that the world was gonna get dark. Adults were already starting to be too real with us. We were teenagers. Yesterday, we were pre-teens and now we're teenagers which automatically means that every car accident, crime wave, and obscene fashion statement was our fault. So I wrote about being a child…and not even truthfully. My teacher would have hated the much more interesting story about how I cut my waist-length hair and blamed it on my brother. She would have scoffed at my vivid Fall memories of visiting Massachusetts. She would have fallen asleep if I had written a narrative project on my passions.
She craved tragedy. She craved crying over art. So that's what I gave her. That's when I flat out decided that I hated writing and that I was no good at it because no one enjoyed the stories I liked to focus on.
What is it like now? How do I currently feel about writing?
Well, writing is just writing. I enjoy writing to let my feelings and thoughts out. I don't worry about grammar or spelling. I try to remember what tense I'm presenting and be a little more mindful of flow, but other than that I just write to write.
Do I write stories?
I tried my hand at fanfiction at one point and was just embarrassed.
I did create a children's play for my college senior project. It was based off of a story I wrote when I was in the first grade. I had a lot of fun turning a 10 sentence story into a script. I wasn't able to get anyone to help me put on a performance…but the script got me a solid A. A major win before leaving college.
But really…I get fucking anxious when someone asks "Tell me about your D&D character"
What is my relationship with writing?
It's more about journaling. I don't really know if I have stories to create that aren't daydreams or self-inserting fanfiction or "whoops. That's not original. That's from that episode of Freakazoid or Thrilling Adventure Hour"
Writing is how I communicated when I didn't have anyone around to talk to. With everyone in some capacity of isolation, I should really consider writing more often.