Like many people who want to do creative work, I struggle with lack of faith in my ability. Keeping my butt in the chair long enough to write something is harder than getting my girls to sit at the dinner table. And we have threatened them with seatbelts.
When I was quite young, I wrote a story for someone whose opinion I treasured. With a grimace and a shrug, she told me it wasn’t very original. She was right, but with that early discouragement my internal critic was born.
Still, I continued to play with the idea of writing fiction. Over the years I’ve taken classes and tried different writing practices (some lasting longer than others). Each time the critic ultimately won, and I stopped.
But I’ve never entirely let go of the idea, which is either pathetic or impressive, or maybe impressively pathetic.
I don’t know if I’ll ever write a piece of fiction I’m proud of, let alone one that is published. Maybe I am meant to be a reader instead of a writer. Maybe “meant to be” is bullshit, and the only thing that matters is what I choose to do. If there’s one thing this blog has made clear, it’s that I don’t have the answers, people.
So here is my commitment. Every day for the next week, I am going to write…something. I’ll use writing prompts from Writer’s Digest and from a few books on my shelf. I’ll finish the exercise even if I think my writing sucks. I hope to post the fruits of my labor by the end of the week but I am not promising anything. Cue chicken sounds (bwok, bwok!).
I’ll post the prompt I’m using each day plus an update on how it’s going. I’ll try not to whine. If it feels right to me, maybe I’ll extend my commitment by another week. We’ll see.
If you feel like it, write along with me. If you post what you write in the comments, I promise kind yet honest feedback.
So here we go. Today’s prompt, courtesy of Writer’s Digest:
You had planned to attend a friend’s birthday party and plugged her address into your GPS system, but the system guided you to somewhere else. Oddly enough, there was a man waiting for you at this mysterious place. “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the person.
Have fun. To encourage you (and me), I will share the following video, which the wonderful lady over at WHATIMEANT2SAY recently posted on her blog.