I started my blog in March 2014 with the purpose of creating a place for my fiction. I wanted to launch an author career and get my pieces seen. That didn’t happen. I procrastinated by writing a slew of nonfiction pieces and book reviews because I was too afraid to “step out there.”
While I don’t regret this, I didn’t feel fulfilled. So I started sharing my flash fiction and poetry instead. It’s no exaggeration to say that this decision helped me grow not only as a writer, but as a person. How? First…
I got over a personal stigma
As a child, I treated my writing as an ancient secret I needed to hide from an evil syndicate. I hid my notebooks in odd places—under a sibling’s bed (the one place they wouldn’t expect), linen closet, stuffed between the carpet and the floorboards—only to forget and have them found, anyway.
The fear of being judged fueled this stigma.
The biggest influence in any creative’s work is themselves. We tie our visions to our experiences, beliefs, and interests whether directly or indirectly. I never kept a diary, just my stories. So, in some weird way, I felt that I slathered my inner workings within my notebooks. Therefore, having them read was a very vulnerable experience.
But this was all irrational. What’s the point in writing if no one reads it? Posting my first piece (“Shadows in the City of Light“) was liberating. Not only did I see there was no harm but also humbled because I wasn’t worthy of it.
I still tasted the last of the toothpaste. The minty feeling reminding me I’d have to replenish both bathrooms if there was anything left between bills and food. Hell, my family might have to go a week with rancid breath. That ought to be fun.
I shifted in my recliner. A torn, ragged thing I found at a thrift store that’s now even more fucked up since crossing my threshold. My kids—did I school them today? — have picked at the old fabric until stuffing jutted out like skin through ripped jeans.
I made a last futile attempt at comfortability, then settled in, ignoring the serrated leather cutting into my flabby thighs.
I fixed on my reading glasses and snapped open my magazine. For a moment I brood over not buying one of those tablet things that Renee has when I had the money, but soon think better of it. She could barely go two taps without Big Brother trying to sell her some shit she looked at two days ago.
But… I’d take the ads any day.
It’s better than this unexplainable dread that fills me as I leaf through the streaky magazine paper. Every page detailing how the world is falling apart. Hell, how it might even die before my own little shits come of age. I let the pages slip between my thumbs, fast forwarding through all the bullshit.
I used to complain about not having enough time to complete personal goals or work on creative projects. Oddly enough, my new abundance of time isn’t motivation enough to do these things. Good thing there’s several writing and reading events happening this month. Events that I’m participating in! (And, who knows, maybe these events will keep you busy too?)
Magical Readathon 2020 (OWLs)
The OWLs is a Harry Potter themed reading challenge hosted and created by G from Book Roast. Participants complete courses (reading challenges) for a particular career to qualify for their NEWTs in August. If you complete both challenges, you get a cool diploma! Some careers you can “study” for are Alchemist, Astronomer, Mind Medic, Broom Maker, and others.
This is my first year taking part in the event, and I’m studying to be a Writer or Journalist (shocker, right?). I’m reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab for my “History of Magic: Witch Hunt” course. I’ll share my tbr in a later post!
Camp NaNo is a lax version of NaNoWriMo where you can choose whatever writing goal you wish to complete during the month. Mine is to work on Retaliate. It’s in the “drowning in a pit of despair” (aka editing) stage of the writing process and desperately needs some love.
National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)
NaPoWriMo is like NaNoWriMo, but it’s poetry centered and ISN’T run by the nonprofit. Participants can write whatever poetry they like and the host provides prompts for those who often find themselves stuck (like me). I’ve completed one prompt so far, but the goal is to do as many as I can and share them here on the blog.
Perhaps taking on all three of these events at once is too much for some, but I want–no I need–to fill my April in creativity due to stagnation. Maybe you feel the same way and want to join me in one (or all) the above events? After all, its not too late.
I play a sick game with my Unconscious I hand it my woes— The ones that prevent me from functioning— And plead, “Don’t let me remember this.” But the bastard always reminds me When it senses it did its job too well.