Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The first one
Well, here goes the first post. I hope I keep up with this.
I think that writing is a terrifying thing; the documentation of my own thoughts often leads me to introspection and self-criticism. But I am doing this 1) because it's time to conquer that ridiculous fear and 2) because the more I write, (I hope) the easier it will become.
The summer of 2009 has brought about many changes in my life, and so I have chosen to begin documenting my thoughts and reactions to these shifts that I've experienced. I began my summer by moving into my first apartment with a couple of collegues (and plan to stay there while I continue toward recieving my BA from UW-Parkside in Kenosha, WI), but then moved to Spring Green, WI for the remainder of the summer to work at The American Players Theatre. I'm working a lot of hours (I'm a Production Assistant - which basically means that I'm manual labor), but in my downtime I'm finally reading, writing, and thinking - all of which are things I wanted to do during this past school year but never really "made the time" to do.
In reference to the latter of my activities - thinking - mainly I'm spending a lot of time trying to figure out "who I am" and "where I'm going," both of which seem to be questions that shouldn't ever have concrete answers, but they're still interesting to consider. Living out in the small town of Spring Green for these past few weeks has given me time to step back from the "chaos" of life and really evaluate what I've been doing, both on a day-to-day basis and on the larger scale. I want to gain a better understanding of what it is in life that I value and what seems to be worth pursuing. There are so many things I take for granted, so many things that end up overpowering my life, and I want to learn about those things and gain a wider perspective. I want to enter the "real world" with a better scope of what is out there and what I am capable of being a part of, and understand what is truly fundamental to achieving a fulfilling existence.
As part of this journey toward self-discovery, I've started writing a series of short stories (or is it a screenplay/a novel/a play? at this point, I don't really know) which are largely autobiographical, but with extreme artistic license. What began as just a journal documenting my experiences in the last few years of my young adulthood has transformed into an exploration of the human experience and how "we" discover who we are and the impact the people around us have on that process. I know that seems ridiculously cliche and, in fact, I'm pretty much 100% sure it is cliche. But they're still my stories and they are feelings I want to dissect and understand, and writing about them seems to be the best way to do that (what better way to try and understand the way that my life has panned out than by deconstructing and rewriting my own history, right?). As they are developed and hashed over, perhaps I'll post some of my writing here.
A lot of these desires have been motivated by some of the books I've recently read. I just finished Middlesex, by Jeffry Eugenides, and The Beautiful Miscellaneous, by Dominic Smith. I found both books to be very thought-provoking and, most importantly, I thought that both authors handled the coming-of-age tales of their respective "unique" protagonists with wonderfully detailed eloquence. The journaling that I've been doing follows somewhat the same vein that these authors have taken with their stories, and it makes me wonder how autobiographical the characters and events in their own novels are.
At the moment, I'm working my way through The Gift, by Lewis Hyde. It is, to quote the back of the book, "a brilliant defense of the value of creativitiy and its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities." I'm about 100 pages in, and I find it fascinating. There are a lot of sections from the book that have offered a lot of food for thought, and I hope to write about them here later after I've had time to digest them.
I think this all I want to share at the moment, though my mind is currently writing volumes ;)