Busy lately. I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging regularly, but it’s been difficult seeing that I’ve changed my approach to it as I’ve gotten older. LiveJournal was dedicated mostly to griping and finding a writing voice that worked for me (between the ages of 19 and 23); Blogger was for more bitching, but for figuring out what I was doing with my life (from 24-28). WordPress I’ve been treating as a venue for essays and news dissemination rather than a forum for personal head dumps. Since it’s so different from what I’m used to, I’m still figuring out what I want to do with it. But one thing is for certain – I need to start posting more because I fucking miss it. I need it.
It’s funny. I’ve always felt a need to be writing SOMETHING, be it a blog post or a story. And I started a written journal for the stuff I would have put in either of my old blogs, but doesn’t seem appropriate to share anymore. Right now, though, my fiction writing has become sporadic and blogging hasn’t been able to pick up the slack. And that personal journal has been gathering dust since I’m currently cohabiting in an apartment that is much too small for me to live in with someone else. I don’t feel comfortable pouring out painful things into a notebook with someone sitting next to me in their underwear playing Call of Duty or watching Star Trek.
I thought the mental frustration that came from stifling that oversharing might impart more energy to my writing, but it hasn’t. Instead I’m beginning to notice a general feeling of claustrophobia in my stories. But it’s undeveloped – ineffable. It’s there, but I don’t understand why.
And that’s the benefit of writing it out. If I can’t understand all the shit roiling around in my head, I don’t know to look for it in the stories I’m writing. I can’t nurture it. And it’s making everything I write feel hollow.
I have a trick I use when I’m writing and I start feeling paralyzed by the enormity of the thing I’m creating (I can’t sit still if there’s a “Why” question I can’t answer). I sit down with a legal tablet and just start writing about a small part of the story. I write and write and write until I start running into things I can’t easily explain with looking at reference materials. Then I go back and see if that helped. If it didn’t, I’ll pick something else and do the same thing. Sometimes this will go on for weeks. Months. Years. But that’s a matter of discipline. All of those have helped me get around mental blocks. But most of the time I write enough to find out I don’t like the world I’ve built. Or the character. Or worse yet, it highlights why the story is so hollow. But sometimes, it’ll get me through that mental block and make the story better. Those are the stories I finish. The rest haunt me.
It’s the same thing with my journal. I figure if I write enough I’ll have that epiphany that’ll help me internalize and move on. That’s what I used to do. There’s so much stuff in my head I want to write about (Viable Paradise, stuff with my day jerb, my friends, where I want my life to be, wonderful weekends and bad weekends, blackouts and neighbors and banjos and bands), but I think I’ve given myself too many boxes that are all the wrong size.
And I’m fucking haunted.
Still not sure what I’m going to be doing here. But I can promise that whatever it is, there will be more of it than there is now.