Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting out the Story

I once claimed, as a senior in high school, that I was a writer. I affirm again that I am a writer, but it's been a long while since I've felt like I had a story to tell. Good writing and good story telling are not necessarily one in the same thing; a passage can be lovely and well crafted, but if it has nothing to say, who's to read it?

I feel like I'm struggling to pull out the story lingering inside, and I'm questioning where it's gone. When I was young and eager and ready to bleed pens dry of ink, I let it all go. I didn't care about the inner critic, I didn't care how stupid the story seemed at the time, I went with it. I let it tell itself, I didn't think about plot and subplot and metaphor and theme, I let go.

It's counter-intuitive that after reading a large portion of the western canon of literature I should feel so entirely stuck, but I do. It's down right paradoxical that studying literature, combing it over with painstaking attention would stop me dead in my tracks from writing literature of my own.

I once had another teacher who encouraged me to write, who said she was envious of my ability to let go and plunge myself and my pen into a frenzy so that my hand could keep up with my mind, a sort of trance where I separated myself from everything else.

I'm trying to figure out where that's gone. I'm trying to figure out why I feel like I have no story to tell. I'm trying to reclaim the creativity I feel has disappeared.

I love studying other people's art, and I'm in awe of their creation, but I wish I could find a way to get back to creating my own as well. Perhaps I need to spend some more time in the Left Bank, and maybe the Left Bank will help me get the story out.

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