Anything Goes The Writing Thing

Unripe Passionfruit, Overripe Passion

July 19, 2016

What used to be a large plane of grass is now the literal fruits of my parent’s laborious efforts to turn my childhood backyard into an orchard of sorts. Among the bounty is a passionfruit vine which prompted a realization: I think I’ve only ever had passionfruit mixed in some tropical concoction, possibly with alcohol. What the hell does passionfruit actually taste like? They did not ripen before I left my parent’s house, so for now my answer is sugar and novelty.

Summer is whizzing by like some thug who’s just snatched a woman’s purse. On the actual bright side, the delayed darkness helps me pretend I have more time to pursue the things I like to do (and often, the things I convince myself I like to do). Right now, through a tall café window, I can see headlights floating in every direction on this summer night. I soak up the magic of this urban city moment, but only briefly before I return to a self-centered wish that this won’t mean traffic as I head home.

Back to pursuing things with my fake extra time: as always, reading things and writing things. I bounce back and forth between non-fiction and fiction. For now, though, I think I’ve had my share of someone telling me how to read or write more, and someone just has to shove me into the pool already. Or I need to close my eyes and make the jump myself. For all my “research” on how to be the best creative person I can be, the one thing I’ve tried most to execute is planning and outlining before I start actually writing. This seems to reel me right into my biggest problem of all: trying to identify an actual problem. Which is the point of any story right? I always end up writing about the most un-suspenseful things, circumstances that would universally be agreed upon as boring. I feel like characters are supposed to climb up a steep mountain in the hot sun to attain greatness and the ones I write just lie in bed and cry about dropping toast on the floor. I feel like someone wanting to run without even knowing how to take a step. Maybe epiphanies can only occur if you’ve plunged into the depths of dissatisfying output like I have.

That’s meant to be more subjectively observational than self-deprecating. When it comes to doubt, I find it’s good to acknowledge it (so it doesn’t feel neglected and then punch you in the heart) but to leave it sitting on the other side of the room while you keep working. Sometimes that works for me. Other times I give into doubt, wind up watching or reading something, then get so jazzed about how good it is that I fall into the longing of wanting to write all over again.

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