No writing today – yet. Sometimes I just cannot push through the lack of motivation to sit down and start typing something out, and today must be one of those days. I cleaned my room, edited a few articles, weeded a garden, spun a flag, ate some food and fed my cat. Basically, I’ve done everything under the sun EXCEPT write. But is this really a bad thing?
No. And let me tell you why.
My brain, when functioning normally, works this way: think, think about doing, think about not doing, think about thinking, think about deciding, do. I’m the type to consider something from all angles before making a decision or acting on a desire – I’m a pro/con list-maker like Rory, without a doubt. Acting on impulse is just not how I tend to roll.
When it comes to writing, it’s a very similar process. Think about my story, think about writing some of it, think about what will happen if I don’t, think about why I’m thinking so much about imaginary people, think about taking the plunge, sitting down and writing, then – finally – write. Sometimes my stories will float around in my head for months before I actually get around to writing them down. I’ve had a particular dystopian trilogy idea shoved into a corner up there for about a year and a half now. Have I forgotten it? Nope. In fact, every once in awhile, a new idea for it comes to mind. I put it with the others and move on.
Why do I do this? Because I’m a college student with two majors and multiple extracurricular involvements. Though I may be a writer, that doesn’t mean I free write every day. I literally don’t have the time. What I do partake in is scribbling – a few lines of a poem at the bottom of my medical nutrition therapy notes is a very common find in my school notebooks. A few lines of rapid-fire dialogue end up on the Notes app in my phone sometimes, too. I use November and July as my novel months – sometimes that’s all I need. As much as I would love to write book after book throughout the year, it’s just not probable. I don’t sleep a lot, but I am human, and I do need it on a regular basis – no matter how much I wish I didn’t.
A long time ago, all I wanted to do was write. All day, every day, for the rest of my life. As a career. I’m not saying I don’t want that now – to be able to write as often as I want to with little distractions. But I’ve also learned that what makes a great writer is an individual with life experience. Practicing writing techniques is great, but you can’t write a great story if that’s all you’ve ever done. Since adding another area of study onto my English major, I have learned more about myself than I ever would have with my head buried in literature twenty-four-seven. (That still happens – but that’s not where it stops).
Being able to keep my ideas contained until I’m ready (and able) to let them expand out onto paper is not a trait I take advantage of. I think my brain is always coming up with little things – a location here, a character’s insecurity there. I simply deposit them into my idea bank, the section of my brain no one but me could ever access or understand. If I spent all my time writing down everything that came to mind, I wouldn’t have time for life.
And I love my life. I love it more than anything.
Yes, friends. These are the tales of a dedicated college novelist.