They say that everyone has a book in them, it’s just whether or not that person has the patience and the will to bring it to life.
Like a lot of people, I’ve dreamed about being a writer – sitting in French cafes with a stack of pages, attending fancy parties in apartments full of books, walking into a bookstore and seeing my name in print. I’ve never been great at writing and dreaming seemed easier than doing. This arts project of mine, though, was a great excuse to actually give writing a shot and see if I had it in me.
At first, I started by committing myself to writing at least an hour a day. That went well, for about a day. As it turns out, writing is hard, like really hard. I initially tried writing after work, but most nights I was so tired from a long day at the office, that I couldn’t bother to bring myself to turn off Netflix. I switched to morning writing, getting up an hour earlier to work on the next great American novel, but I often stared at the blinking curser for 45 minutes before I typed anything. When I did, it usually wasn’t any good.
It was clear that I needed some kind of structure, so I decided to try taking a creative writing class. This turned out to be much more conducive for my work methods. Each week, the instructor gave us reading assignments, which were really fun because I was exposed to writing I probably wouldn’t have read on my own.
Our main project of the class was to bring in seven to 10 pages of something for the class to read and critique. I decided to bring in a short story about an American spy (I know, original), and it was not super fun to finish. I thought 10 pages would be easy, but I slogged for hours at coffee shops to get that much, and I wasn’t that proud of it. My classmates were kind, although they didn’t need to be. Most of them were reassuring that we all write bad first drafts, and they gave me some excellent advice on how to make the piece better. However, when I got home, I put the piece in a drawer and haven’t had the courage to look at it since.
I guess I won’t be a writer after all. Oh well.