Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Writer Again, Suddenly

It’s a feeling I haven’t had in quite some time- that nagging at the edges of awareness, that faint voice in the back of your head that won’t go away, those intrusive thoughts that interrupt your train of consciousness and make you realize that you’ve missed the reality of the past few moments- the words spoken, the light in the room, the shifting body of the person next you.  It’s been happening to me more and more lately forcing me to realize that there’s action to be taken if I hope to avoid continually slipping out of the moment and missing all those things.  

A story.  A story must be written.

Like most stories, it’s been in my brain for a long while now.  First as an idea, just a flash of brilliance easily forgotten.  But then the words and images that get caught in the web it weaves in your thoughts.  Moments, phrases, descriptions.  All these getting caught in that sticky netting and becoming a barrier, a blockage to the regular train of thought.

I was at a concert on Saturday night, a really great one.  And I was angry to find that I’d missed some music because my mind got caught in that web again.  Then last night in the shower I washed my hair twice, not realizing until the second lather that I’d been composing sentences in my head rather than scrubbing.  That was it- I’d finally had enough.

So I sat down at my computer, and I wrote.  I opened up a Wikipedia page which invariably led to two others.  I looked through pictures on Google images.  I poured out paragraphs which, of course, were terrible and ill-formed on re-read.  But they were there.  Typed words in my word document.  An undeniable story that would be brought into existence by me.  Before I knew it it was one o’clock in the morning.  I haven’t gotten caught up in writing like that since the last NaNoWriMo I participated in- over a year and a half ago.

When I really look at it, I realize that I barely did any writing at all in almost the entirety of last year.  Sure, I celebrated some accomplishments on Friday blog hops.  I did 26 entries in April on the history of Tang Soo Do.  I wrote about my running, a lot.

In actuality I realize that running has sort-of replaced writing in my life.  Partially because it was new to me, I had a whole lot of firsts last year and I’m still having them (I won my first medal in a 5K this past Saturday- Third Place in my age bracket).  And partially because it’s so much more definable.  When you run, there’s undeniable proof that you’ve run.  A GPS map on the running app showing you your distance.  A runner’s bib verifying your participation in a race.  A medal that I proudly display on my wall.  It’s real, measurable, concrete.  Unlike writing which still seems so ethereal sometimes- words on the paper that my inner critic dismisses so easily, even after all these years.

But fiction- a story I composed, characters I created.  Details and settings and emotions and tiny little elements of memory that breathe life into the sentences- I haven’t done that in so long I honestly can’t remember.  Until last night.

So I did something crazy.  I went and signed up for the April A to Z challenge.  Sure, I’m number five thousand and whatever, at the bottom of the list.  And sure, I’ve now put an awful lot of pressure on myself to get 26 entries out of this story, not to mention a coherent narrative that connects each snippet of scene and dialogue.  And yeah, it could all blow up in my face so easily.  But I’m writing again.  And I’m pretty damned thrilled about it.

I know that I haven’t existed in the blogosphere for so long that people who used to frequent this site have all but forgotten about me.  And I know I’ll have to re-earn every follower by reading and commenting and giving before I can reasonably expect anyone to come back here.  And I know that half the point of the April challenge, if not the majority of the point, is visiting and commenting rather than writing yourself.   But I want to do both.  I NEED to do both.  It’s been far too long since I’ve done this, any of this.

So I know I missed the big theme reveal.  And I know that probably only two or three people are gonna read this anyway.  But I’m saying it more to myself than anyone who may happen to read these words.  I'm declaring it, so I'll have to do it.

I’m writing a story.  In 26 parts.  For the April A to Z Challenge, my contribution:

Scenes From An American Diner

Stay tuned…
Better late than never...

12 comments:

  1. Beverly! Welcome back.
    Glad you took the plunge and signed up for the Challenge. Sounds like that story is really pulling at you, so I bet you'll do fine coming up with twenty-six posts.
    And congratulations on taking third place in the race.

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  2. I like the starting gate image of the race you paint. Perhaps your 26 posts could be legs around the track. Glad you're back :)

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  3. That's great news Beverly :)! Welcome back! I'm looking forward to your A-Z posts (it's my first time participating this year - eek!) and to finding out more about your story!

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  4. Brava! Bravissima, even! Welcome back to one of the loves of your life - writing is that for me, at least. Not the only, but an important one. I'll be following your progress.

    (I never stopped following you, by the way...)

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  5. Welcome back, Bev!
    It's GREAT to "hear" the excitement in your voice!
    (...and btw, you've never been far from my mind...)

    I LOVE the sound of your theme!
    I'm writing flash fiction and will DEFINITELY see you around on the A to Z circuit!
    Writer In Transit

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  6. I totally understand where you're coming from. It was sewing for me. After a week I could have a finished product, and I got so many compliments, and I love it. On the other hand, you can work on a writing project for a year and still feel like you have nothing to show for it. But you're a writer inside, it will always come back out. :)

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  7. Good for you! And good luck with the 26 parts. Here's to the muse, whenever and wherever it strikes! :)

    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

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  8. A story in 26 parts sounds super Beverly. Waiting to read it.

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  9. woot! story a to z are my favs. I know that feeling as well. I have a hard time getting inspiration to write, but when it hits, it hits.

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  10. Oh, good, a story! Looking forward to rading your posts.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

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  11. This is exciting! Looking forward to reading your posts. And I can relate to that feeling of suddenly wanting to write a story, I had an experience like that a week or so ago and am still on cloud 9 about it. I didn't think I'd ever get out of my slump.
    Great to see you, Bev!

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Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!