I just finished my second full day of work in a row. Next, it’s a half-day tomorrow, and then work work work on the Drawing portfolio, which I only have until Wednesday night to really complete. Considering I only had two weeks to work after I decided what I’d be doing…I’m guessing that it isn’t so bad.
I’m still undecided as to what to do about this blog. It’s fairly clear at this point that it’s open to the general public, including people who would take issue with me for whatever reason, and including people who would actually appreciate what I post. It’s also fairly clear that I actually can make some posts password-protected and then share the password elsewhere, along with the notification of my entry. I didn’t see how it would be appropriate before, but now I do.
Earlier, I was speaking with a co-worker about how a Creative Writing degree really doesn’t lead directly to a job. It kind of parallels a Studio Art degree, in that it teaches one how to express oneself through a given medium (language, or visual communications), but it doesn’t teach one the base of what it would be that one would be communicating.
So, in my case, I have pretty good Critical Thinking skills; I have extremely good English Comprehension. I can start out with a blank page and draft out a record of my thoughts, then develop that into something that is high enough quality to be acceptable…though I’ve found from my experience in the Library Science program and in my Communications and Art History classes that sometimes — especially with nonfiction writing — notes (and separate versions) are essential. In that case, I’d be starting with a blank notebook page and jotting down ideas, then attempting organization through outline form, then composing them.
It’s actually a very different process than fiction writing, I’ve found.
In fiction writing, we’re (I’m) starting with a feeling or mood or sensation that we’re (I’m) trying to get across, and attempting to elicit that in the reader by a trail of language that synthesizes a meaningful experience in the reader’s mind.
Or at least, that is how I seem to think I work, at this moment.
It calls to mind the impact of an organizing principle uniting the work, which is different from artwork only in that an artwork…can communicate this more or less at once; one does not have to crawl over the lines and forms like an ant, as is essential in contour drawing, to receive the message. But often, without studying the visual work, as in a critique situation, we know it makes us feel something, but we don’t know how or why.
As I’ve said before, at least in person, Creative Writing parallels Studio Art in that it teaches one how to express oneself. It doesn’t teach one what to express. An English degree parallels an Art History degree in that it teaches one how to pick apart the work of others for meaning and context, however, it does not give the other side — being a creator of that work — nearly as much training, in my experience. In fact, in my experience, it would seem to discourage it, through showing excellent examples of writing which people then think they aren’t good enough to compete with. And/or, it shows writing which appears so twisted at its core that it causes people like me to be hesitant to put anything out there because of what I may unintentionally say about myself, which can be decoded by a skilled enough reader.
Maybe it would have been different if I’d gone to Stanford or something, instead of a State University. I’m not sure.
So the gist of what I’m trying to say is that I do think that I have a good grounding as to how to do what I want to do; I just am not sure exactly what it is I want to do, yet.
At work today, I was scanning the reading guides of my Library system, because it was freakin’ dead. I mean, I had pretty much nothing to do, for an hour, and I was stuck on desk. I eventually ended up repopulating the already populous Welcome pamphlets because I felt bad that I wasn’t doing anything. But anyway, I was browsing the Library website, and looking — particularly — into the Graphic Novel synopses. I feel like I could be powerful in this area, if I committed to it. However, Graphic Novels, like regular novels, generally don’t pay the bills. Like Fine Art, generally, doesn’t pay the bills.
I suppose it speaks to how much creativity is valued in this society, but I digress.
It’s possible that I need to throw out that bit of information where my teachers were saying you have to be a prolific reader to be a good writer, because right now, all that bit of information is doing, is stopping me from writing. I think I’m getting back onto the train of doing something with my writing skills — more than writing corporate communications. I just have to find out what it is that I actually want to write about.
I’m very sure that I have a wealth of information to draw upon; it’s just that most of the interesting stuff could get me in trouble. 😉 Which, then, puts up another block, right?
Maybe I should write with the aim of getting in trouble, or at least knowing that no matter what I say, if I say something, there are going to be people who take issue with it? It’s not a problem I had as a kid, because as a kid, I was mostly silent. Which is, in fact, the reason I started writing — I had things to say that I felt I couldn’t say, but I could write them.
And so, when I was a kid, and I was writing for myself, with no one but me reading my manuscripts, writing was this kind of beautiful release of life energy that I’d been bottling up. And now, I realize that in formats like you see in this blog, I’m indeed confronting the very specter of what I’d been avoiding when I was silent. That is to say, disapprobation by people who may be hostile to me, for whatever reason — even if they have no clue who I am.
It’s different to write for yourself, than it is to write for a reader. How do I get the reader to see what I’m seeing? How do I get the reader to feel what I feel? As versus…a need to vent and spill all of this I’ve been carrying, which no one knows about. Purely because I cannot contain it any longer, and it is burdening me with its weight.
What I need to do, maybe? Do I need to start back from Square One and read books on how to write? Do I need to just write? In painting and drawing, the most essential part of the process is just sitting down with committed time to do the work. Not just research — but actual painting. Actual drawing. Without that, nothing gets done.
That could be the reason I still have this blog. I need a place to vent, and as I’m venting, I’m getting better at communicating. The better I get at communicating, the more others know exactly what and how I feel, and why.
It’s something I’m not so skilled at, in speech.
I need to practice my writing. Whatever I end up writing, be that fiction or nonfiction…I feel like it has to be grounded in my reality, or at least in my psychic space. That means, at least eventually, exposing myself to the world. Exposing myself to the world means, sometimes, being judged. But to avoid judgment is to be voiceless.
I just need to work on standing up for myself…and writing about things that matter to me.