As you know, I’ve taken a bit of a writing break. Circumstances being what they are right now, other things needed my immediate attention. I’m not sure when I’ll start writing again, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it over the last few days. I have a few rough ideas, but nothing concrete.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a lot of senseless movie watching. The break may have been needed, but it also makes me wonder. As I read books of varying genres, I wonder who I am as a writer. What do I want to accomplish? Do I have the passion that allows my words to come alive? Sometimes I find myself losing the plot of a book because I’m caught up in the words. I find I’ve been paying attention to their rhythm and the compelling images that they bring to mind instead of the story line. I find sentences or passages enthralling, and I can’t help but put the book down and ask myself if I will ever have the power to write like that. Will I ever be able to engage a reader in such a way? Can I string words together to create a tapestry of beautiful, haunting, joyful, or melancholy images? I read my own writing and find it pitifully lacking. The desire is there, and I’m told that talent can be cultivated, but I have my doubts.
I want so much as a writer. Not fame or fortune (although I wouldn’t turn down a fortune…) but simply the satisfaction of a well crafted sentence. A sentence that can come to life with the sheer beauty of words. Words that seem to float around you, removing you from all sense of time and place, as you feel them with your heart more than you’ve read them with your eyes. Oh, how I want to be that writer.
There are times when I am afraid that it will never come to be. I convince myself that no matter how hard I work, no matter how many drafts I write, or how much I read on the craft of writing, I will never get there. I tell myself that the writers I so admire are out of my league, that I can never hope to accomplish with my words what they have. And yet, the desire to try remains. Writers must be a strange breed indeed.
I enjoy so many types of writing that I have become unsure of the kind of writer I’d like to be. Contemporary? Literary? Horror? Do I wish to paint deep, meaningful portraits of the human soul or do I wish to call upon quirky heroes who rely on their sarcasm to get them by? Do I want my readers to weep, or do I wish them to laugh? Honestly, I can’t say I’m sure. Maybe I want to do it all. How can I choose? How do I know what I am best at? Yes, I know..with practice and patience.
I have no idea what I will write next. I have a vague picture in my head. I see an opening scene, but I still do not know who these characters are, or what their hearts desire. I do not yet know if they are introspective, serious people, or witty, chaotic jokers. I do not know if their story will be one of mirth, or one of sadness. I do not know if it is dark and brooding or lighthearted and fun. I see them sitting there, waiting patiently for the opportunity to tell me who they are. I refuse to listen to them just yet. I continue to read. I continue to find the joy in other’s writing, and listen for what it can teach me about my own.