Hurry up May, I’m dying.
Hurry up May, I’m dying.
I don’t think I believe in star signs, but I might like to. I think they’re comforting. It’s nice to think that there a good things on the horizon for you (because horoscopes are almost always optimistic), that you have this cosmic connection with the universe that relinquishes some of your own responsibilities. Plus, there’s that little thrill you get when you read something familiar in your horoscope and go, “Hey, that’s totally me!”
But I can’t believe in star signs. I’m pretty much the exact opposite of my sign, Aries.
10. I have strong opinions, but I don’t always voice them.
9. I might like to go on adventures, but only if they’re planned to the tee.
8. Okay, so I DO like fast food.
7. I’d say I am quite boring externally (internally it’s a circus of crazy).
6. I wouldn’t have made the history books.
5. I bottle up my anger. Or, I write a rage post, then delete it. But I’m generally not that angry.
4. You first.. no, I insist.
2. I guess I am passionate though.
1. Conclusion: I don’t think I was born in the right month! (Or astrology is a load of hocum.)
I think life might have been easier if I were a true Aries, but I do feel somewhat attached to my dark side. After all, I’d hate to be ignorant of my shortcomings, even if my fear of them was holding me back.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt from the Paris Brown scandal, it’s that you have to be so careful what you post on-line! The impression I probably give to potential employers through my blog is probably not fantastic.
However, as part of a community of emerging writers, I think it’s really important to be honest about your weaknesses. I also approach my work critically in order to improve and move forward. I’m yet to meet a writer that didn’t struggle profoundly, but I’m also yet to meet one that didn’t make progress through open reflections and the support of their peers.
Speaking of which, I’m now on Twitter. Follow me, I’ll follow you, and we’ll try and do this together.
“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard” ~ John Grisham
This notion of a writer’s true “voice” is strange to me. When I write, and I’m really feeling it, I don’t even feel like myself and it’s wonderful. Those rare moments when the words come together fill me with a confidence that belies my awkwardness, my pervasive self-doubt, and it fills me up and pushes the words onto the paper. I feel like, just for a moment, I have been possessed by a writer, not that I am that writer. When the inspiration fades, I am once again that bewildered, empty ingénue that looks at the page in a crushing panic.
I know that the voices of other writers so easily bleed into my writing, just like picking up an accent when you’ve stayed in a foreign place. The authority of a seasoned author can often refresh my stale style. I’ve recently been reading a lot of epic poetry, so last week’s post ended up full of wistful exclamations and flowery imagery. It couldn’t be helped.
I also have this problem in my studies. Often my essays are too florid, and my creative pieces too scholarly (that is, boring). It can’t be helped that I am learning several different types of writing at the same time – journalistic, advertising, creative, and academic, and all the sub-categories contained in them.
How can I have a clear voice when I am constantly driven off course by the outside world? I guess I take comfort in this: I am young, I am learning, I am open to everything. This is the time that I can explore my “voice”, see what its boundaries are (and certainly it will be open to change with every piece I write). I also know that I do have a style – prim, Romantic, sincere – which is yet to mature, but is still apparent in the vein of each of my works. Hopefully, as I read more and write with more focus it will come to the fore as intricate and compelling as any voice can be.
I semi-hoped to have worked on some creative writing this week but, as usual, university declared itself to be more important and I spent most of the week trying not to fail anything. I am sure that next week will be no different.
I did make some wonderful progress inwardly, thanks to outside sources.
When in doubt, read Fitzgerald. For no other reason than it will soothe your soul.
So maybe I was selective with the truth before when I said that I spent the week doing uni stuff – I also clocked considerable hours watching Carey Mulligan’s entire catalog of acting wonderfulness. Why? I feel like she has an amazing understanding of character and human nature. Plus, I can’t help but hype myself up for The Great Gatsby. Maybe next week I’ll watch DiCaprio’s back catalogue, though that could take a while.
I usually write whatever comes to me in these posts and it’s daunting to have people read something I haven’t edited a zillion times, and then probably deleted and started again. It’s even scarier when I know that my friends or family read it because it can be quite personal (weird how we feel comfortable sharing with strangers but not our nearest and dearest). Anyway, my friend Angie actually reads these ramblings and she sent me a really nice text of empathy and encouragement about last week’s post. It’s so comforting to know that there are people who struggle with their inner critics, especially when you’re surrounded by high-achievers and generally amazing, talented people. Angie is one of those people and I’m so glad that somehow what I wrote might motivate her to use her talents like I know she can.
In an attempt to motivate myself, I have been reading my previous posts and I noticed that last week one of my main problems was letting my inspiration fade. My solution has been to write down every thought the exact moment I think of it. It doesn’t leave nay room for me to doubt or forget, and even I have to say I have crafted some beautiful lines this week just out of the clarity of my own head.
(I hate that word, it’s so impersonal.) Thanks to all those who read, comment and like my stuff. I honestly feel like I’m at my strongest when I write this and you’re a definite part of that… keeping me going in this insane quest of mine.
Sigh, it has been forever. Hello, everyone. Apologies about the disconnect, but I am feeling pretty shattered. From uni to my internship to having a nasty bout of food poisoning, I won’t lie and say I totally feel like writing. If you read my blog, by now you should know that even on my best days I go to admirable lengths to avoid writing, because I fear my imperfections and predict my own failure. But not today. Not now. This will not be one of those posts.
I am writing this because I know that within me there are words that die to come out, but are stuttered before they reach the surface. Like a social anxiety where words seem to get lost or fracture on the short journey from brain to tongue, my fingers are also hesitant to the keyboard, charged with the insurmountable pressures of art and career. In the moment that they waver, the words, which are strung precisely on threads of consciousness as delicate as gossamer, grow heavy and burdened with their own weight and drop into the ether. How depressing it is, after digging up that headspace, to find that ephemeral arrangement lost forever.
How I wish you could bottle ambition! and return that fire to your heart at your earliest convenience. The later you leave it, it seems, the more the doubt, and those fantastic fires snuff out.
Why don’t I do what I truly want? Why do I stall with such ridiculous excuses? Do I fear I have built my ambitions on false hope? Am I untalented? To these final questions, I could only bear one answer.
I am the answer. Only I can make “me” happen. For, in twenty years, I could be the girl who perhaps works a job that’s okay, or the girl who faced her negative self-talk and the wrote the stories that she had to tell. It will take time, hard work and lots of blog posts like this to keep me going, but I know who I want to be.
Here’s to the future. Now, go on and live it.
Come see about me…
Have a looksy at what I’ve been doing in the writing world this week.
I’m going to try and post a creative writing piece on the blog sometime this week … scary, but … nope, it’s just scary.
Have a great weekend!
Seriously, did WordPress go and die while I was gone? For the past week I have been trying getting back into uni as calmly as possible. I also have an internship! It’s all very exciting and I thought I could sign onto my blog and enjoy a couple of hours of peaceful, recuperative writing.
Instead, what I got was spam. Not just one or two comments that WordPress didn’t pick up, either. Like, 30-odd spam comments, tarnishing my website. It beggars belief: who would spam this blog, this holy grail of inactivity? Nobody comes on here. I had seven views today. Seven. Why on earth would anyone want to spam me?
I did, however, find several lovely, non-spam comments and even an award nomination. This getting crazy now. I have no idea what I’ve done to earn praise here. To me, it’s just ramblings of a madwoman. But thanks all the same to Beth at A Daughter’s Story for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. I will try to nominate some of my favourite female bloggers later in the week. I hope this will be somewhat of a late contibution to International Women’s Day, of which I wanted to write a post for this week but ran out of time.
It saddens me but I won’t have much time to write this blog for the next 13 weeks. As I mentioned, I have an internship now which corresponds with my journalism degree. I will need to attend lectures and tutorials, complete readings, take notes, write assignments and weekly homework tasks. I will need to be supremely organised to complete all this and still write this blog and other projects on a weekly basis. Of course, I am not, so I kind of look like stressed cat:
A friendly warning that I hope will not become a self-fulfilling prophecy: These posts may become shorter and sloppier (like today’s) over the next few months. Please bear with me.