Dance the way I feel: thoughts on writing

AM getting into this cycle where sometimes I think I write more authentically about writing than when I’m meant to be telling a story. This writing course I’m studying (part time) has given me a space to think and talk about writing in a way I haven’t had in a while and all sorts of things come up. And they aren’t necessarily translated easily into a story.

I’m finding class tiring and also energising. Like those dance spectacular drama things I did as a kid. The more I do the more I want to stay. It’s a privilege to get this time to be all intellectual about something I love to do. I get home and WANT to write more. Yet there are time pressures and that Real World stuff that keeps interrupting. As it does.

But it keeps happening, that call, impulse, drive, whatever, and I somehow manage to produce a story. Sometimes it feels a bit like going through the motions, following the old formula, one two three, one two three. Yet recently I went my own way, moved to the beat of a different drummer and I knew it. Which is why the last story worried me. It was a bit experimental, a bit half Borges-inspired and a bit self referentially something. It wasn’t silly but it also wasn’t entirely serious. Also it was written for class under the all important looming Deadline and I wasn’t sure if it was the kind of thing my lecturer wanted. Sometimes worries are justified, but not this time.  I got some useful feedback but his first words to me were: Send it out. And so I was dancing around the garage after I’d opened my mail reading it, because sometimes criticism is useful and interesting but a message like that lifts the soul. Lifts the soul in exactly the same way getting published does or like those moments when someone tells you ungrammatically: you did good kid. So I had to dance. Those moments are exciting.  Still. And hopefully forever.

What’s my point? I need to remember to forget double guessing about what people want from me when I write. It’s creative atrophy and I won’t be able to move or be moved. I need to write my story and make it good as I can, even with those everyday life things crowding those precious moments. Whatever happens afterwards, I’ll be dancing.

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