Written May 14th 2009
I’m not really sure if blogs around here are completely designated to finished pieces of writing or whether we are allowed to use them to introduce ourselves or talk about things that are important us, but I'm going to. I’ve been a member of this site for awhile now, but I feel like I’ve been lurking in the shadows thus far. I haven’t put forward much of my own work yet (and what I have, I now notice is much weaker than the ideas I’m working with now) and I’ve been providing criticism on other’s work on a on-off basis. Hopefully soon my activity will pick up, but I’m just going to take this opportunity to introduce myself properly and talk about a few things.
The main reason I joined this site (other than the fact I enjoy writing) is because in late September I’m going to Lancaster University to study English Literature and Creative Writing - and I need practice. Although I thoroughly enjoy writing, I have a few problems that I need to cast away. First of all, I’ve never actually finished a “proper” or substantial piece. Though I’d like to think the projects I've been working on over the last four months are good enough to be completed eventually, most of my work is abandoned; because I get bored of it, because I have no faith in it, because its too ambitious, because one day I’ll decide its crap or because suddenly I’m busy. It’s pretty pathetic for someone who wants to write books, studying Creative Writing and so on - I know, but I’m adamant it’s a demon I can rid myself of. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, I am kind of worried this “flaw” is actually an omen that I’ve chosen the wrong path. My other major passion in life is music. I play guitar, bass, some brass, sing a little, play in bands and compose all the time. A few months back (after I’d handed in my University application) I realized that I had composed and recorded thirty two tunes in the last two months. Just like my writing, they’re weren't exactly special or stand-out - but they had a lot of promise. The sticking point was, unlike my pieces of writing, these boat-load of tunes - ranging from fingerstyle jazz pieces, to funk, soul and blues numbers, all came pretty naturally. Ever since I've been wrestling with the thought that I’ve never finished a short story, but in just sixty days I composed thirty two tunes. It's kind of concerning and to tell the truth I’m worried I could be making a big mistake, pursuing writing over composing. But I just have to run with it for now. It is part of the reason why I'm here.
Written August 27th 2009
After a few months of frustrations, hesitations and woes - I’ve managed take these doubts and turn them into something far more positive. A finished piece of writing. All I had to do was get over my chronic fear of “messy writing”, realize a draft is never a final, and write about something that I’m truly interested in. For the first time, I tackled an issue, and ran with an idea that had a real purpose. Instead of a far-out story, with characters made up as I go along and a plot line leading into the gutter - I just started writing about my writing issue. I tried to identify for the first time, what exactly the problem was. This began to develop into a piece that compared the process of writing to the process of composition. What made music flow so easily for me, why writing was so hard for me. I went down various tangents, spoke about things I later questioned myself, began mentioning things that were completely irrelevant - and surprisingly by the end, I felt as though I had got the hang of things. Without really writing about anything in particular, I had taken a significant step in convincing myself that I can write.
What I'm actually going to do with this piece of writing, I'm not sure yet. I'd like to share it, I intended to share it. But somehow what I've ended up with feels a bit like a diary to me. In many ways it's a little too personal for me to reveal. This makes it sound like its worth reading, which of course, maybe its not. But nonetheless, I feel proud that it exists. At least now I can start my course with a bit of hope. And a bit of music on the side, just in case.
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