First, it must be understood that I do not wish to condemn my writing nor hold it in higher estimation than it naturally is in these weekly blog entries–for I am sure my inadequacies and talents, romanced or not, will be well versed in my novel. I imagine every writer transforms themselves into pages and glorifies their lives to the eyes of readers. You can trust therefore, that my following passages are nothing more than the laughable and quizzical blocks that enter in someone’s mind who wishes to write their first novel–as much as I can imagine, for it will be my own trials whether or not any other writer can vouch for similar feelings. As for the topic, plot, and morality of the story–most I am unfamiliar with as you! I have waited vainly for the lightning of knowledge to zap me in my dreams– for me to awake, hair disheveled and in writhing knots much like Medusa herself–and shout “Eureka!” to a no doubt brilliant plot that would surpass the Brontes’. I would then of course and with great ease throw a silk robe that magically appeared over my shoulders, glide over my slumbering dog as gently as a doe does a log in her path, and scribble furiously over paper as I can romanticize Beethoven set about symphony making. I cannot wait for a brilliant idea to write my first novel–I could be waiting forever.
And I probably would be– regretfully but comfortably sitting on my couch reading enviously the words of Dickens or watching re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I began writing a couple weeks ago, realizing fast that being a good writer does not a novelist make, that the art of creation can turn into a headache quickly enough. But also that the 40-45 hours a week working a different career is taxing on the imagination, and more importantly, is suffocating the will to feed another passion.
But is this not what most struggle with? Am I not the commonest of birds, singing a forlorn song?! And so this blog will be created not for my own amusement (and i would be happy if it added to yours as well), but for my own documentation of this journey, and also to keep me honest. If I constantly write about my failure to write, then how silly I shall seem to myself! Let this blog be a mirror to myself, a motivational tool, and more-over, a reality coming to life.
That being said, for those of you who do not know me so well, how did I come to want to write? I find this to be a proper subject, as instead I could rattle on about my interests and other aspirations, my favorite color being yellow, and display who I am as I would prefer you to see me—no, you will find me out shortly enough. My story begins as most in my generation do–I was in line at Barnes and Noble. My mother and I were buying items that have since been forgotten. Standing in line, my eyes constantly looking at all the shiny items for purchase on display and my clumsy hands poking at anything in reach, when my mother said, “Kathy, have you read Jane Eyre?”. I of course, being in middle school, had no idea what she was talking about, and said so. “This is an absolute must-read!” And so she picked up a small tan book with blue edging and golden leafed pages, sealing my fate forever. After Charlotte Bronte I had to tackle Austen, and from Austen came the Harry Potter obsession (which has never stopped, actually), and then naturally Shakespeare. Once College hit I wanted to devour the Literary Canon, an effort that will forever be my pleasure and hobby. The day, or moment, that I decided to write a novel is lost to me. I feel as though I have always had it, as my love for great stories seems to pre-date my mother’s purchase of Jane Eyre. Maybe I just said it one day, and as many things that seem extraordinary and difficult to achieve, I decided immediately that I will one day say that I’ve done it.
My love for novels does seem to exceed my desire to write at times. I have made a plan for 2015 to read one book a month and have written a chapter every other month. March came and went and I had only completed two novels, and my first chapter only half done (I say “done” loosely). Two days before April arrived I finished Cold Mountain, a novel I wanted to read before I hiked Cold Mountain here in North Carolina. I found myself sitting by the window, amazed at the description of nature within that novel–having apparently read Whitman a long, long forgotten time ago, it seemed quite unparalleled! How well Frazier knew the trees, the foliage, and the toll of weather within the mountains. I glanced down at my own descriptive tenses and thought, yes, you need more trees in this scene. Then, looking out my window for help I glanced at the trees eager to scribble down their effects. Sadly, I have no idea the nomenclature of trees, and realized that this writer’s influence is beyond my own abilities to story-tell.
It is time for a new novel to read–and what influences me more than anything??? A British writer—in this instance, Austen. Yes! that’s it! I picked up Persuasion from my bookshelf and began chapter one. When that was done, the need for something more British overtook me and I bought all of Downton Abbey Season 5 on Amazon. And so with tea in my cup and an imaginary scone to the side of my teapot, I will be induced to write less on trees and the entrails of dead animals (that which I know little) and more from my own thoughts and impressions that live and form an imagination that is in desperate need to get to it. That being said, this need for something more British will get pencil to paper with magnetic force.