Monday, February 1, 2010

I Have an Idea...

I used to be a writer. A huge writer. When I was in highschool, I was the weird, quiet gal writing weird, quiet poems at her desk during math class. When I had a story on the go, I would rush home after school and settle back into it, dying to know what my characters would get up to on the pages. I would break only when called for dinner, and then the story called me back.

When I moved out of my parents house, straight to downtown Toronto, nothing changed. I would spend many hours in absolute stitches with my wonderful roommates Erin & Brad, but many other hours in absolute weird girl writer take over. Wearing my usual black velvet (how apropos) I'd light up all my candles in my near-windowless room, papers surrounding me, all over the floor on which I sat, and I would write. These times when I drowned in a pile of paper and candlewax were my best. I would write of everything, no matter how inappropriate. Many of these inappropriate pieces were shredded and burned immediately after, but the words had to come out. I could not imagine a day without papers and pens, I was completely lost without them.

As the years passed, things changed as I grew up. Of course, alcohol and drugs found their way into my weekends, parties and night clubs began to replace the late night writing sessions. Yet, every now and then I still found the time because I needed that release. Those cherished weeknights, in my first apartment on my own, the first time in my life I had no parents or roommates to bother with my neurotic, arty ways.

Circa 2002, I would get home from work late, and nearly every night do all the secret, silly things I used to when I was younger. The writing was fading a little, but the words were still inside. I played the piano, I painted on my first canvasses, I sang my heart out, thankful for the solid concrete walls which spared my neighbours. And I told stories to the void. I would tell stories to an audience I pretended was there, in my living room. I didn't realize at the time, that the written words were growing spare, but the words clearly still needed to be shared in some way, and it was fun.

And now, after all these years, I find myself in only tiny reflections of this strange girl I used to be. I believe that self-consciousness keeps creeping in more and more, the older we get. Perhaps I just think too much, put too much pressure on myself, and work for too many hours at a job which does not directly fuel my creative desires. But it's no excuse, we should always have time.

This brings me to the reason for this post, my idea. I've been thinking a lot lately about all of these things I used to do, but I so rarely take action. It is so easy to sit in my warm, comfortable living room, and think of all the notes I used to play, all the words I used to write and all the tunes I used to sing, but not actually do anything with them anymore. I have a massive, blocking problem that I'm sure many of you suffer from also. The procrastination, the putting off, the fear...anything that keeps us from doing the things we actually want to do.

When I let my mind go free, I'm amazed at the memories which pop up in my head. I'm amazed because I realize that I actually do have stories to tell. However small, and even perhaps uninteresting to anyone who did not know me when I was young, there are stories in me. So, I've decided to finally put to use the 'blog book' which Tess & Daniel gave me, and take note whenever I think of a memory, an anecdote, anything that I could write about; and write it.

I miss the days of passionate, frantic writing so much, and the only way to reclaim any of that creativity is to practice. Instead of sitting around moaning about how I don't write anything anymore, I'm going to just write, plain and simple. Now, I'm aware that I'll probably break this promise tomorrow, as I never, ever keep my word to myself, and I always break my personal promises. But I think it's necessary for me to, at the very least, try.

My idea is to take this blog, and run with it. I will post something every day. Instead of solely posting simple, daily diary entries (which I will still do of course) I will write a story. Every day. A story need not be a novel, it may only be a few lines long, but in an attempt to reawaken my memory, and see that there are silly things in this head of mine, I'll write them down here as practice. I could write these stories in a journal, or on my personal computer, but because a blog is public, and therefore there is an audience in the void, I may feel more inclined to keep my promise.

Yep. I may embarrass myself fully, I may tell things I really shouldn't, but it's all in the name of practice. And who knows? If I get into the habit of writing every day, maybe I'll find another short story in me somewhere again too!

Happy reading, and thank you in advance for putting up with all the drivel that will likely come out. I will begin with a story tonight, so hold tight!

All pictures taken by Shayne Gray at the 2010 Come Up to My Room event at the Gladstone Hotel!

No comments: