I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Most of that time, I wanted to be an novelist, specifically. A writer of books, of fiction. A creator of worlds either drastically different from our own or perhaps not so different at all.
I don’t talk about this particular dream much these days, largely because I’ve all but given up on it. I barely write fiction anymore, and when I do, I can’t seem to fill more than 3 or 4 typed pages. This would be fine if I were capable of writing short stories, but alas, every idea I’ve ever come up with has been for a novel. The number of wasted notebooks, half-filled with abandoned novels, makes the environmentalist in me shudder. “This time,” I would always promise myself, “this time I’ll actually finish it.” I never have.
The most I’ve ever written on one story was for NaNoWriMo 2010. It was a story I’d come up with 5 years earlier and I managed to get down about 27,000 words. I still have the story in my mind; I know what happens. But somehow I can’t manage to put the rest of it down on paper (or in this case, in type). The same goes for multiple other stories that I have started on. I just can’t seem to put them down. To get them out.
I keep thinking that with all the free time I’ll be having soon (what do people do from 6pm to bedtime??) I’ll start writing again. I hope I do. I hope the city sparks in me the creativity that I’ve been searching for for the last three years. I hope that it inspires me. I miss writing. Really writing, not just blogging (although I enjoy this, too).
In my life, I’ve always written as an escape. I lived vicariously through characters in the books I read and by writing, I could live a life that I designed specifically to free me from my fears and to bring me a happy ending of some kind (usually with a hot dude). I was never so opaque as to write myself directly into my stories, but I often made characters that were who I wanted to be, or who shared a trait or two with me.
I’m not sure if this blog has actually helped or hindered my creativity. Instead of using fiction as an escape, I come here, or to my private journal and wax philosophical about life and anxieties and really just a lot of self-reflective, self-important bullshit. This is my outlet, but it’s hardly a creative one.
I think that maybe I’m at the point in my life when I’ve experienced enough that big, grandeur dreams aren’t quite so necessary – I’m no longer the trapped 15-year-old struggling with her identity, but where I still don’t know enough about life, love, and all other miscellany to “write what I know.” Without the dreams to draw on, or the knowledge to inform me, I just don’t seem to have anything to write about.