I need a waterproof laptop. Or at least a tablet with keyboard. Nothing fancy, just something for the shower.
If you have any suggestions, let me know. Tired of my ideas sliding down the drain, forever lost to me.
I haven’t written for a few days. Okay, a week. And this isn’t due to lack of ideas. I have no less than 3 drafts sitting, waiting to be published.
Rather, it’s a lack of voice. Well, lack of voice I want.
The 3 drafts that shall not be published are very essay in orientation. I start with my normal story telling, but I end up in a how-to or advice essay. Sophisticated language, resources, the whole shebang.
Which would be fine, if that’s what I wanted this to be about. However, as we all know, there is a plethora of authors talking about how to write, how to be published, how to blah blah blah. I have nothing to offer that hasn’t already been sent to the ether of mass language collecting on the internet.
Rather, I prefer to use this medium as a skill development, word experiment, and sometimes just plain cathartic, tool. When I am in essay mode, I’m pretty far from experiment and cathartic.
I lose my story telling voice.
It speaks to where my mind is when I start writing. Whether I am available to vulnerability, or if I am trying desperately to wrap my consciousness in intellect where things make sense, people are puzzles to be solved from afar, and drama and trauma are things to be studied from a distance.
In essence, a very distant and safe place. Yet this is not the place from which my best stories are told.
This medium has developed a creative non-fiction voice where I can reflect my wit (though debatable depending on who’s reading) and my sense of things. Above all else, I can combine words and phrases, build in story-long metaphors, and create a world for readers.
And for the last week that voice has been absent.
So as any skilled writer would do, when something is not working you have step back and take a look at where the words are in relation to your world. What formulas and equations were working, and what styles are not.
Having hit a brick wall in creativity, exhausted from my mind being pulled in various directions and a lack of sleep, I defaulted to what comes easiest. Which is essay.
But reading my own essay writing is dry and boring. I enjoy writing essays, I adore researching and finding more information, but I think that form is better suited for those who have a natural voice for it. Rather than merely a voice from years of practice.
In reviewing the posts where I feel I have done the best, I see writing I enjoy the most and receive the best feedback is writing laced with memories, humor, and a little shock and awe at the end.
The last piece purely due to my inability to tie up a story.
I can end almost any type of writing, except stories. Goes back to my whole-life-doesn’t-end philosophy so … flash fiction and personal realizations through creative non-fiction are my go-to. With a tendency to drop a bomb out of thin air like I quit my job.
This voice fits me. I have fun when writing it. I don’t bore myself to tears and just stop writing mid post.
Unlike the several drafts that sit waiting for me to hit publish, which I won’t do. If you could see the number of drafts sitting out in no man’s land of my previous website, you would understand the regular struggle I have with holding voice.
However, this being said, I realize I cannot let my unpublished items sit in an internet landfill, never decomposing. To push myself, I will revisit and edit for voice, which in itself is a skill I need to work on developing.
In fact, I’m pretty bored with this post too. It might be I let it sit too long. It might be I’m just tired. Regardless, time to wrap it up.
On a completely different note, I am collaborating with poetry again. Jumped right into the deep end with us co-writing a sestina. A form based poem, it’s long and can get complicated.
Here are the first six lines of what will be a total of 39 lines:
People speak of losing time/as if time were a commodity to be lost/an item dropped from a pocket/or shoved amongst gathering clutter/an object traded or bought/passed down through generations.