If you’ll permit me, I’d like to go on a rant. Leave now if you don’t feel like hearing me whine and complain about my existential crisis for the millionth fucking time.

Binge-watching Jane the Virgin (a show about an aspiring Latina writer), working on a college campus buzzing with creativity, and an overall sense of what am I doing with my life? have led to an unsettling feeling in my chest. I keep thinking of eight-year-old Jax and her dream of one day sitting on a shore, typewriter and mimosa in tow, tic tac tic-ing bestselling ideas onto paper and seeing her book on a shelf at Borders (RIP!). That’s what I envisioned life as a writer – my life – to be. Obviously, that’s not how it has turned out because devoting oneself to words doesn’t work that way. Great writing doesn’t happen that way. And also because, really, I’ve treated it like a hobby and not what it truly is: what I love to do.

It’s become a tiresome theme. I’ve written countless blog posts about the issue: Woe is me, I’m an anguished writer with no direction! I talk about writing all the time: Yeah, if I could be anything I’d be a writer! I’m so judgmental when reading others’ work that it’s become hard to enjoy anything: Wow, people like this crap? How easily amused! I’ve carried around pretty notebooks in preparation of the moment creativity strikes: Writing down all my ideas will do the trick! Everything is a story or poem to me. I watch and analyze interactions and people and moments and story lines are constantly forming in my head but when it comes time to sit the fuck down and write or let a story actually develop and evolve in my head, I ain’t about shit. I just can’t seem to…go.

Truth is, I am a) unsure as to how to begin, b) facing a years-long creative drought, and c) petrified that my writing sucks and my ideas are trash. That’s the honest truth. I AM SCARED. I look at the imaginations of my idol Toni Morrison and Gabriel García Márquez and William Faulkner and I analyze the commentary of bell hooks and Aldous Huxley and my boy Anton Chekhov and goddamn, their work is mind-blowing. It puts anything I have ever written to shame. It’s silly to compare myself to writers of such magnitude and stature, but if you can’t evoke emotion in your reader or if your work doesn’t actually say something, then what’s the point? Have you ever been brought to tears by a book? It’s magical. Has there been an author that makes you look up and think OH, SHIT? That’s the kind of writer I want to be and I AM SCARED that it’s not in me.

Logical Jax knows that I don’t have to be a literary great and go down in canonical history. Maybe the simple act of writing and trying is enough. We can’t all be Shakespeares and Frosts and Brontës and Nerudas. There’s a Creative Writing certificate program here at RIC and I am tempted to apply. Applying requires 15-20 pages of sample work, and the thought is daunting. However, I feel like it’s a great way to determine whether this is worth devoting myself to or not. Maybe it’ll unclog the hairball in my brain and I’ll finally be able to tap into the ideas I think are there. Or maybe it’ll prove there’s no need for Drano and I’m just not made for this. Regardless of the outcome, I have a great support system that will continue to read my blog and entertain my dreams and encourage me. Words will always be beautiful to me. So we’ll see.

End of rant. Thanks for listening.

5 thoughts on “Rant.

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