Hey! Brigit’s Flame WordPress has three new followers! Hello, to all of you, and welcome. Are you writing?
I have just finished a marathon of writing, editing, and revising thirty-seven poems and five creative nonfiction pieces—all of which is now bundled up with a cover page, Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, etc., etc. It’s as done as it will ever be. Fifty-five pages, total, that I just can’t take one more look at for fear that I will delete or rearrange something else. Or burn it.
It’s done. I’m not going back.
I expected to be relieved. I am not. I’m exhausted, my skin feels gross, my hair feels gross, there’s a strange smell in this room that I am afraid to try to identify, and my back hurts. Oh yeah, everyone I know is sick of hearing me go on and on about my “collection”. Including me.
So, why am I still going on and on, you might wonder? Because, I’m about to embark on another marathon of writing.
For the first time since beginning to earnestly pursue writing, I now have the time to write. It’s a bittersweet opportunity that came about because I got laid off from work. Fortunately, I don’t have to stress too much about that turn of events for… for a few more weeks, at least. I am grabbing the bull by the horns. Making tall glasses of hard lemonade out of lemons. Whatever.
Don’t be jealous. It’s all a great deal messier and sadder than I make it out to be.
I used to enter rambling stories to Brigit’s Flame contests. Loved ’em. I allowed some of them to evolve into serials, with the intention of one day gathering every scrap together to cram into a novella, or maybe, a novel. Then I gave up.
I buried the stories and left my LiveJournal and quit writing anything but academic assignments and the occasional dreary poem. Now, there’s a lot of factors involved in my quitting—not all of them negative or total loserville. However, the most prevalent issue was a question that popped into my head one day.
That question nagged and nagged. The one question morphed into several. I didn’t have answers.
Why must these stories be told? What’s so important? Who will really care about what happens to Max, Holly, or Grace? In the grand scheme of things, what do these people have to offer? Why even finish if Max, Holly, or Grace can’t truly offer something original or profound to a reader?
Questions like that can cripple a writer. Even so, I think they need to be asked. Although, I’ve come to believe that the most important question of all might be this: Is it absolutely imperative to formulate an answer right away?
Personal experience has taught me that firing off a response to any question immediately isn’t always the wisest move. Fifteen of the poems I put in the “collection”, and two of the creative nonfiction pieces have existed for more than three years. At the time I wrote them, I thought they were brilliant. They said exactly what I needed them to say.
A revisit three years later caused me to recognize significant problems. Three years of writing and reading experience, thankfully, not only helped me recognize, but to fix those problems. I am so glad I didn’t try to publish that stuff three years ago.
In regards to those old short stories, those three characters that I once loved so completely … I am so glad I gave up three years ago, because they never could have stood up to the questions, and any answers I would have attempted at the time would have been hollow.
Why must these stories be told? I finally have an answer.
Because, I am the one they came to.
Nothing earth shattering. No deep wisdom to one day write in sweeping font across a banner of inspiration. The stories came to me, so, I’ll write them. It’s that simple.
So, dear Flames and Embers… how do you answer such questions? Do you have other voiceless inquiries deviling your writerly subconscious? Tell us all about them.
Your mission is to read, comment, vote, LOVE! Go see what your favorite flamers wrote for Heart-shaped Paper.
We’re writing for the sake of wise madmen in the final week of Drabble Love! #gowrite