Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Write Yourself Alive

It is no secret that I admire poet, Tyler Knott Gregson. He has created his own style in the genre of poetry, and brought attention back to the art. Tyler put together a 30 day writing course called 'Write Yourself Alive,' challenging writers to develop a 30 day writing routine to write themselves back to life, and out of their ruts. I feel so lucky to be taking part in this class, and I'm excited to see how the challenge plays out.

As Ernest Hemingway so delicately said, "there's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." While I've only used a typewriter once or twice in my life, I'm very familiar with the concept of bleeding ink. Writing is the only way I can allow myself to bleed all day without fear of death. I consider myself to be extremely lucky that I had never considered what I want to do for a living. My living found me by chance, and kept me alive.

Often times as writers, we are guilty of putting our craft on the back-burner, because the routine of every day life gets in the way. But, do we blame circumstance? or do we have ourselves to blame? One can't alter circumstance, but you can alter the way you respond to it. If you love to write, make the time to write. Whether that time is at 3 o'clock in the morning, or 3 o'clock in the afternoon when you're stuck in traffic. Do what you love. You owe it to yourself. You deserve to do the things that make you happy, and it's time you realize it.

I call myself a writer. I write for HerCampus, our school paper, the Minaret, the Tampa Tribune, USATODAY College, and whatever other publications will accept me. However, when I am not doing that, I am a waiter. I have never once had a routine where I wrote every day. I no longer write for pleasure. The truth is, I'm terrified of my own love.

The one thing I think that holds me back the most from writing on a regular basis is my fear of feeling. Writing is a gateway drug to an endless array of emotions. Although you're in control of the movements the pen makes, you're not in control of what your heart feels, or where your mind goes as a result. I'm afraid of unveiling painful memories, confronting uncomfortable situations that I have successfully avoided for so long. I'm afraid of blacking out, having my mind shut down and abandon me, heading off to cower somewhere hard to find. It's happened before, and it's hard to escape. 

When I sit down at my desk to write, I feel overwhelmed. Where do I start? What do I write about first? The truth is, it is so easy to begin, all I need to do is sit down. Once i'm comfortable, one would physically have to pry my cramped and aching fingers from the reigns of my peanut butter stained keys.

I'm taking accountability for my delay in writing, and changing the pattern today. I'm excited for the challenge, and vow to write every day for 30 days, for at least an hour each day. I vow to be raw in my writing, and not be scared to go to those dark places, that I've protected and hid in the back of my mind. I vow to stop writing for other people, and start writing for myself, and remind myself of why I wanted to be a writer in the first place. I vow to stop waiting, and start writing. I vow to confront my fears head on, rather than run from them. I will stick with the uncomfortable feeling for as long as I can bear, then let it go, and move on. I vow to be fair to myself, and let myself create. 

Let the bleeding begin... 

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