I’ve been writing almost nonstop today and it’s been wonderful. I’ve either been locked in my room scribbling away or here at the computer doing minor to heavy editing as I type things up; both are extensions of the creative process. This is the first time I’ve done serious story writing since November 29 and I had a lot to get out.
I have been writing in general, of course. I have written letters, poetry, journal entries, English papers, and writing exercises. I’ve written something every single day since December 31, sixty-seven days and counting, which is amazing for me. I do not want to discount any of that writing or imply that it did not satisfy some of my creative needs. The simple fact is that no matter what else I write, I also need to have these major story projects going on as well.
I need something that can combine character development, description, emotion, structure, a sense of change from one point to the next, complex plots and subplots with twists and logical timelines. I’m in my element when I have dozens of things I need to keep in mind and sorted out while I build on them. I generate vast amounts of notes and unusual systems to organize them by. I probably do at least as much planning as I do actual writing, and the enormous task of keeping everything straight is a challenge I love.
It is not enough to merely write. There must be a point, a change, a transformation. Oddly, it was my advanced improvisational acting class that helped to consciously grasp this point and use it to my benefit. Wilma would emphasize while we were doing scenes that this was not just some random interaction or event that we were acting out. “Something must be changed,” she said. “There is a point of transformation, of revelation. When it’s really good it’s like the sky opens up and we all receive divine communication. But even without that, the situation must change, the characters must transform, and in that we ourselves change along with our audience. Theater has an effect on everyone involved.”
Wilma had an unusual way of describing things, but there were important lessons in her words, and I learned a lot from her. A year later I am still gaining insight from the two semesters I spent with her, and a lot of it can be applied to writing. She was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and I hope she’s enjoying her retirement.
So I’ve been enjoying myself today. I feel good to have written, both for the sake of writing itself, and because the part of me that demands I keep my commitments has been harping on me about writing lately. I have satisfied those urges today, and I do not feel guilty for having taken the time to do so because, blessedly, I had that time to do with as I pleased. I’m ahead in the work on half my classes, so I didn’t have to spend this whole weekend on homework.
Tomorrow I’ve dedicated to math problems and a little Japanese, because that does need doing; I may not have the opportunity to spend a whole day just writing until spring break next month. When I am finished with my homework tomorrow, though, I’ll let myself spend a little more time writing, and go like that, rewarding myself with an hour or two here and there after completing other things. I can do that now, which I haven’t been able to do until now due to feeling a little burnt out and unable to get started. I needed this day to throw myself into it fully and get back into the swing of things.
I feel wonderful now. I guess it had been building up so long that it just had to come out. Instead of feeling tired after a whole day of working, I’m invigorated; it was cleansing, almost.