Sometimes writers, especially today’s writers, get really spoiled by the word processor. I’m referring to during the composition of a piece. The auto corrections and constant grammar and punctuation reminders put a cramp on my style and I’m noticing that more often these past months. Recently, looking at a blank MacBook Pro screen adds a lot more pressure to a deadline or word count goal, even its a self-given one. I remember when I was younger and into writing poetry and short stories, I was happier with the process. (Yes, writing is a process. It has to come from a vision into, sometimes, diction to finally on paper-or screen. Then there are mounds of edits.) It may have been because gripping a pencil or a pen gave me more control of how I wanted to tone dialogue and looking at lined paper literally took my mind anywhere. It allowed me me to be creative and helped me find my voice..which I’m still tweaking..discovering what she sounds like. Today, I sound a lot less like Tony Morrison, Zora Neal Hurston, Omar Tyree and a few other literary artists that have groomed me as a child. You may hear them from time to time, though. Technology had a hand in grooming me as well. With emergences like Yahoo and social networking I became lazy with my writing, abandoning my pen and black and white marble composition book for MySpace posts, Facebook updates, and the Notes app on my iPhone where I store bits and pieces of stories..thoughts. I actually composed this in the photo edit section of an Instagram post!
Of course my life has been non-stop, and of course I feel like everything in the entire world is trying to keep me from writing. I thought of giving up and actually had the nerve to tell my cousin. He wasn’t too happy, and to be honest I wasn’t either. Just seeing me actually type the words into my iMessage made me cringe and feel sadness beyond belief.
I believe I was born to be two things-for certain: a nurturer in some capacity (nurse, mother, caregiver, ext) and a writer. My very first goal was being a published author of a novel. core aforementioned cousin gave me a verbal slap on the twist after he read that I was quitting writing on a professional capacity. “You got it! Don’t give up! I hate when I see genuinely talented people give up on their dreams cause their scared or the work is hard. You can do this!”
So…I think about what he said everyday.
”I have a really and habit of getting in my own way…like all the time. Making excuses for myself for why I can’t be what I was destined to be.”
That was the first sentence of a journal entry I did a few weeks ago. I went out and bought this black, college ruled spiral notebook and some breast cancer awareness pens by Omnipoint. Aliyah S. King once said that was her favorite brand of pens. I was getting back to the basics of this thing. No more fancy lap tops, no more squiggly red lines, no more Scriveners, and more importantly no pressure.
All it took was me opening the cover of that notebook for me to visualize a short story. I’m in the middle of it now. It’s full of cross outs, notes inside the margins, and more cross outs. It’s beautiful. It’s looking like the makings of something big that could possibly be seated on a best sellers list-or, something small, just for my private collection to show me growth one day. But it’s something…