I got to thinking last week that it might be helpful to give a bit of context to me, Collin, and why I’m doing this. Thankfully, it’s not only helpful for you, as a reader, but also for me, as a writer, to explore why I’m writing in the first place.
So first, a bit of context:
Back in 2009 I finished up my undergraduate education and received my BA in English with a focus in Creative Writing. I’ve been born and raised in the California Bay Area, so I know that Creative Writing would likely mean becoming a Starving Artist, and I’m really not that into suffering for my art, though believe me — I adored creative writing (and still do, coincidentally). So in order to find a way to support my own artistic leanings, I tried to get a practical degree and entered into the lucrative field of Librarianship (mind you, I had applied to school in 2008… great timing).
I finished my degree in 3 years, wrote a thesis on Web 2.0 technologies and their utilization in Archives, and tried to enter the workforce with a full-time job. I’d been working part-time in libraries since 2007, so I figured 5 years of experience would be worth something. I quickly found out that reality was a bit less… shall we say, rosy? But I found a full-time job that utilized my skills and is still related to the larger world of libraries. However, I wasn’t particularly happy. The commute was (is) long and I felt like I should be doing something more.
So a while back my wife, then fiancee, called me out on why I didn’t write anymore. I confessed that I usually worked much better having prompts to guide me. Even something as abstract as “Love” got the cogs in my head turning when I was in undergrad and I’d churn out my 3 to 5 page story inside of a few days. It seemed so easy then, but after several years of grad school, I felt rusty and wasn’t sure I’d be able to do things the way I used to. So, my wife used one of her Moleskine notebooks and at the top of each page wrote a single prompt of a line or two to help fuel my creativity.
And, being the upstanding individual that I am, I thanked her effusively, put it in my bag along with a notebook and pen, and did absolutely nothing with it for several months.
So, after the wedding earlier this year, I decided to try to take control of my life a bit more. I’ve started dressing better — much to my wife’s relief — and applying myself more. I’ve decided that I want to do something with my writing because, damn it, I enjoy doing it. So I started this blog up and got to writing. I’m plugging away at the prompts and trying to just get into the habit of writing again. I want to feel the effortless fount of creativity I had when I was in undergrad. I felt like I could spin a story out of anything.
Will I be able to recapture that spark? Probably not. And in truth, most of what I wrote then would probably embarrass me now, but I plan to keep writing.
I’m hoping to get a new prompt out every week or so.. though I’m not nearly confident enough to put money on it; this editing stuff takes time. That’s my goal, though: 1 story/week.
But that’s why I’m here, I guess. To get the wonder back; recapture some of the creativity that I felt sure that I had before. And hopefully entertain a few people in the process, including my wife. 🙂
See you next time.