Being a writer who can’t write is a frustration all its own but even in the midst of struggle, having drafts on drafts with no decent material, I still don’t believe in writer’s block. I feel like it’s an excuse more than anything. That’s like not working out because you’re not a bodybuilder, you have to start somewhere. Just do the best you can and you’ll get there. I feel the same way about fear, it’s there but in reality, it’s just a feeling and you can’t let it stop you.
I have a big piece I’m trying to extrapolate but until I refine it to something that’s worth reading I’m taking a pause. I took some time away from my words and spent it with my family. We conversed, relaxed, and reconnected. It was a much better investment than hours on hours at my desk trying to channel my inner Hemingway. Of course there are times when us writers need to stick to a strict schedule in order to meet a certain quota and we have to endure to get to the goal. Then there are other times where the days are more free verse and it’s crucial to get out of one’s head and go experience. After all, we write about what we go through. It’s important to feel with all the senses in order to describe them. So even if it’s just a fifteen minute walk with the dog or a ten minute bounce on the trampoline, just go do something where you can soak up a moment so you can paint the perfect picture of that memory later on.
The other day is a perfect example. I could not write a decent draft of this heavy-hitting, multilayered, biblically anchored, truthful tale of an article on my life. I worked on it for way too long and didn’t get much else done. Thankfully I got a call that interrupted me and I spent some time with family. I’m a relationship person so I definitely need my time with people. When I’m with the right ones, not the ones that drain but those who inspire and challenge and love me right back, it gives me the boost I need to pour on paper what I pray will inspire others. That was my day the other day, one that was supposed to be spent drowning in ink was instead full of words that were spoken and hugs that felt like home. Late hours and lyrics. I love you’s and I love you too’s. Food and tattoos. Jumping and falling. Smoke and Johnny Cash. It was one of those days that I haven’t had in awhile, nothing was planned and nothing special happened but it was exactly the kind of thing I needed.
The reprieve got me thinking about something I would be able to write. Not the masterpiece in the making that involves me and a biblical role model named Joshua, but instead a much bigger project I’ve been moving like molasses on. My memoir is being made. Slowly but surely, brick by brick. I’ve been taking my sweet time mixing the mortar. I’ve brainstormed plenty and outlined a lot. Plus it helps that it’s a true story so I already know everything that happens and when.
Writing truth is weird. Probably because it’s true.-Genevieve Rose, Gorgeous Chaos
Fiction is one thing, it’s easy to project feelings and themes into made up characters. Knowing their flaws and actions only affect others who are just as flawed and just as fake. It’s a whole other level to write about me in my own voice about my own life. To put myself and the living breathing cast of characters that are the people in my life on paper. There’s a different level of risk involved but every work an author writes leaves them vulnerable to some extent. With a cleared head and a refreshed heart I now see that the time is right to move my memoir from drafts to development.
It’s a story about sex and drugs and when there was time, rock n roll. It’s about rage, anger, and lust. It’s about God and sins. It’s about Johnny Cash and Bambi. It’s a story of death and friendship. If I didn’t live it I don’t think I would believe it.
I’ve had the idea for years but I didn’t want to write it before. It’s a story full of great things, even things that are nothing short of miracles but there’s also horrible things. A lot of awful things happened. There were times when I was the hero but I was also the villain. When I write the story I want to write it in its entirety. I want to be honest, as uncomfortable as that might be. I hope the honesty is appreciated and the mistakes I made are avoided by others. Hopefully those who read it learn how to love a little better, just like I did.
The past few years of my life were unexpected, amazing, hilarious, awful, tragic, painful, and exhilarating. You’ll have to read it for yourself.