Monday, June 26, 2006


I'm going to preface this group with my final paper written for my non-fiction class senior year...

My Writerly Life

When I think about writing, I imagine myself in a quiet space, where no one can bother me and I work like a machine, flowing and efficient. Then I come back to reality, and see my real writing space, a pink enveloped desk with a flat screen monitor awaiting my every keystroke. My roommates battle it out in the living room about which season of Sex and the City to watch, and I wait at my desk for inspiration to strike. Usually it does not, and I join them out on my couch and relive the experiences of four women for the twelfth time over. Sometime around eleven, I realize that I have homework due and papers to write; this is when I get inspired.
I do not believe that in order to be a writer you need to think about writing all the time. I rarely think about writing, except in the act of doing it, like this very moment. I believe that writing requires an experienced life, chock full of ideas and memories that are vivid and attainable. If I spend my time thinking about writing, I waste the time I have to be experiencing life and developing story ideas that I will come back to on a late night with Café Mocha in hand.
I do however, feel that writing stems from a passion to capture an experience and trap it forever between words, which is what I do. I feel I can do this regardless of whether or not I am constantly planning my next phrase. Planning develops habits, which can lead to a forced method of writing words on the page. I stick to spontaneity, so that my voice comes through in each piece I do, but does not have the same structure or theme every time. Some authors are predictable; their plot twists evident as soon as the last word of the opening paragraph is read. I want to be different, and create a story no one has ever heard before, with a voice that is true and lacking bullshit and mediocrity. If I have learned anything writing non-fiction, it is that truth really is stranger than fiction and in most cases a lot more humorous. This type of writing has enabled me to develop my voice while telling my own personal stories and relating anecdotes that family and friends have shared with me for years.
Usually when I get inspired, it takes precedence over all other activities, and all I can concentrate on is getting out my words. It happens a lot when I am walking somewhere, noticing the world and the often strange people that inhabit it. This is when I wish I had a palm pilot, preferably in pink, so that I could jot down what I think as I am walking. I am not a fan of tape recorders because my voice sounds ridiculous on tape, which is perhaps why I choose to write my thoughts instead of vocalize them.
I have a hard time delaying the inevitable end of a paper, especially when I lack a story to tell and have to dish out ideas on a various topic, such as writing. This paper is hard for me to write as we speak, since I am not inspired to do so at the moment. Perhaps my passion is not exactly for writing, but for life. I love the words that sometimes slip their way into my papers in poetic language, but what I love more is the life that inspires me to write passages like those.
My roommates are calling me to join them in the living room, and it is time for Sex and the City. That show has taught me a lot about being a writer. Carrie Bradshaw is a writer herself, and her column is solely inspired by her friends and her personal experiences, much like everything I write. I firmly believe that if I do not enjoy being a lawyer with my whole heart that I will probably become a columnist for a paper, and get paid to live life and report back to the world on a weekly basis.


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