Day 304 – The chase of the writer

Day three hundred four of my 365 Day Writing Project.

The art of writing is a wily beast. Inasmuch as it can be simple, it can be extraordinarily difficult. The art of writing is always a step ahead of the writer. You see, writers are chasers. We chase our imaginations, we chase words to bring color to our stories, and we chase the notion that we can artfully depict our stories to share a little piece of our minds, to leave something behind of ourselves that will prove that we existed once. That we were something special because we had something to say worth reading. But no matter how much we chase, we never reach the level we hold as our standard in our minds.

Wily, elusive, seductively ambivalent. The art of writing is all of these things, which is why writers are chasers. We may eventually capture our imaginations and generate the story we wish to tell, but for a time we hold it sheltered deep within ourselves like hyper-protective, helicopter parents. During that time we live with it pinging around the corners of our minds in sheer madness until we are ready to put it down on paper. As we write we try to blossom the story into what we envisioned, and we hope what is left on the page truly reflects what we enjoyed (lived) in our minds. We do all of this knowing full well that it will always fall short. Always.

I love the way Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner and And the Mountains Echoed) describes it in an interview with Joe Fassler:

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen—it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted to say.

Writers experience this every day, in every piece of writing, and sometimes even in every sentence we write. Madness? Maybe. Art? Definitely.

So, we chase. It’s what we do.

Day 102 – Writing makes me happy

Day one hundred two of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,100

I was talking on the phone with my cousin today when she asked me how my writing is going. Before I answered her, I found myself smiling. I was holding the phone to my ear in that second-or-so between the question and the answer, and I was smiling a big, goofy smile that no one saw.

That smile stuck with me all day. No, I didn’t smile a big, goofy smile all day. I thought about that smile all day. But when I sat down at my computer to write again tonight, that big, goofy smile returned. It is no wonder I write every day. It is no wonder I skip sleep so I can write. It’s quite simple. Writing makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy because when I write, it feels like I’m doing what I was born to do.

– James Prescott

Day 93 – Only

Day ninety-three of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 300

Only 300. That’s what I said in my head as I decided to quit way sooner than I felt I should. “Only 300 words today?” Yup. That is all I could write, all I wanted to write. Only. But why ‘only?’ It’s only Day 93 of the 365 days I have committed to writing. It’s only the first novel I plan to publish. It’s only a story waiting to be told. It’s only my art, my passion, my purpose. It’s only me.

There’s nothing only about it.