Welcome to this week’s update on writing accountability. If you have no idea what that means, check out last Saturday’s post. Firstly, thanks to all of you. Many asked how they could help me with my goal to write. Even knowing that you might say something if I didn’t write this post kept me motivated. Here’s what happened:
On my writing retreat Facebook group, I noted that I would be going to The General Cafe on Sunday because this weekend is graduation. Not only did I walk in my college’s graduation as a faculty member, but two other schools (I’m part of a tri-campus) had their graduations, too. That’s a lot of family and friends to descend upon the area, so I figured Sunday = safe bet.
No one in the group bit. I cried into my pillow, Why won’t they write with me!? Then, I got a Facebook message from one woman in the group who said that she and another guy were excited to see me Saturday at The Local Cup! Ack! Wrong date and location! But I didn’t want to be a naysayer, so I met with them from 9:00 – 10:00 today and raced to be ready for commencement at 10:15.
I was so happy to see my writing people — honestly. I really like both individuals and felt warmed by their presence. However, due to a life hiccup, I also was unfocused during our get together. I tried to remind myself that the point of writing is “butt in seat and see what you can accomplish.” Because my brain was elsewhere, I decided to go through some old stories of mine (2006-2013). And I remembered something:
I am got-damn hilarious.
I’m sitting there, reading old stories, snorting quietly while my fellow writers look pensively over their poems. Now, how is this “writing,” you may ask? In my opinion, the hardest part about being a writer is seeing the writing for what it is. It takes years. You step back and forget the person you were when you wrote the story. It’s like I’ve been given some other writer’s work to scrutinize and play with, which is super low pressure compared to WRITING YOUR OWN GOOD MATERIAL.
Not only that, but I noticed I had a style in those stories. At times, I am deeply cruel as a writer. I’m unforgiving and rake characters over the coals. Main characters, too. Yikes. I also have a poetic rhythm, playing with repetition and alliteration and other word sounds.
I’ve decided to commit myself to revising old stories, submitting them to magazines, and possibly seeing if any of them go together and could be submitted as a chapbook. I’m not good with revising on screen, so the first thing I did was print everything off. There is a lot there. It’s easy to forget just how many pages I needed for my Master’s degree (120) and then again for my Master of Fine Arts (I think it was 124 pages). That’s some good foundation for me to play with.
See you next Saturday!