Tuesday, June 9, 2015

End of writing class...beginning of writing (more)

Last night I attended my final Memoir(ish) class at Story Studio. I have to say I have mixed feelings about the class. On the one hand, it was great having some accountability to my writing and feedback. On the other hand, sometimes I felt like what I was saying was stupid and that the reaction to my writing was --- yawn ---. Now that's probably just me being insecure and I would imagine every other person in that class had some moment of feeling that way. Maybe. It's hard for me to believe that.

I wanted everyone to read my piece and clap and say how wonderful it was. No one did that. Of course they didn't. I know it's not realistic to expect that. But you know, you want that validation. It's so hard to come by and in the end, does it really mean anything?

Last night in class we read a piece in the Rumpus - #48: Write like a motherfucker. Basically, if you don't want to take the time to read it, it says that you write not for praise or fame you write because you need to write. Because "the prospect of not writing ... (is) more awful than the one of writing ... (something) that sucked." 

While we were discussing the piece in class, I started to think about running because everything relates to running - amiright? Anyway, there is a saying when you race you need to "run your own race." When I run a race, I know I am not going to win. I'm not going to come close to winning. I'm not even going to be close to winning my age group. Hell, apparently I'm not going to be close to beating my 10-year old niece. But that is not why I run. I don't run to win. I run because I like it. Because it feels good (basically - I mean it sucks A LOT but it also feels great a lot) and it makes me happy and healthy. When I run a race, I run my race. Not the races of the people passing me, not even the races of the people I am passing. 

And writing is like that to an extent. I need to run my own race. I need to write because I need to write. I know that I've come to this conclusion in other ways before. But I don't think I've ever thought about it in that way before. I need to focus on my writing - not on what I think I should be or that I don't have an MFA and that no one will ever take me seriously. That may be true, but that shouldn't stop me. I never did track or cross country as a kid and have no history in sports (unless you call dance a sport), but now I run and I've even been able to give advice to those who are just starting out running. I just gotta stay in my lane and not worry about anyone else.

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