LET’S TALK WRITING #2
with guest writer, May Salix
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but it hasn’t been until this last year that I have finally begun to really write. So I am currently an unpublished, unknown writer who has been compulsively writing for roughly 20 years – and until recently, I’ve hated just about everything I’ve written.
I felt that the reason I couldn’t write anything to my satisfaction was that my life kept getting in the way – everything I attempted to write seemed autobiographical. So for years I tried to write a memoir and for years I failed miserably no matter how many times I started from scratch. It was incredibly discouraging.
Instead, I would end up writing about what kind of writer I wanted to be and what I wanted to write about. I was – and still am – an insatiable reader, so I read countless biographies on and memoirs by female writers and I read their published letters and diaries because if I couldn’t write, I could at least read about writers. I also watched biopics of authors. I was doing pretty much everything I could think of that had to do with writing – except actually writing.
I have two main notebooks: My idea notebook has every idea for a story I’ve ever thought of; each idea has its own page and is usually at least half filled with suggestions on what to include in the story, what direction I want it to take, what I don’t want, etc.; the other one is devoted to writing about writing and contains everything from me bemoaning my inability to write anything decent to fleshing out ideas from the other notebook with a lot more detail.
Even though I was swimming in writing and writers, I wasn’t writing. It was awful because there would be times that I felt I had this great need to write, write, write, but because I was so stuck I couldn’t think of anything to write despite my notebook filled with ideas.
And suddenly it happened: Out of nowhere, I finally found the voice for my memoir that I’d been trying so desperately to get out of my system for so long. It was incredibly liberating. I’m still in the process of finishing it and I don’t want to say anything about it because I want it to be a surprise [I have low expectations of pretty much everything but apparently have delusions of grandeur when it comes to my writing.] It has been painful but it’s had its good moments, as I’m sure most people feel who have written a memoir involving painful memories and events.
I have written two stories that I am really proud of but I did not enjoy writing them. It was more like I was suddenly seized by this incredible need to write about very painful, personal subjects – my brain or my psyche’s way of allowing me to finally exorcise those particular moments of my past. I think the urgency I felt to get them written is what propelled me to write each of them in two days; they almost literally wrote themselves. If I get them published, hopefully I’ll be able to come back to this and give an update.
I am currently in the process of developing a story that will be a lot of fun to write. It will be a nice change of pace to have fun while I write rather than getting a headache from furrowing my brow and feeling like I need to take frequent breaks to regroup. The great thing is that I feel that familiar urgent need to write and while I was developing the story, it just poured out of me.
Now, what I need to work on is creating an online presence. My guess is that it would be helpful to have results show up if someone decides to Google me.
So, what do you think of May’s thoughts on writing and the issues she has raised in this piece? Do you have similar issues? Do you have any solutions for May? Let’s hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments for May below this post. Both May and I thank you for contributing.
Would you like to SUBMIT a 750-word or less piece to share your own experiences with writing to VIANVI and get feedback from other writers and authors, along with FREE PROMOTION for your website, blog or books? Please see LET’S TALK WRITING #1 to see what we’re looking for and how to Submit. Thanks!