Stories are Everywhere

Returning from the depths of the college world, I bring you a sparkly new blog post.

The "instructional" book I am reading for Intro to Creative Writing said that writer's block does not exist because stories are everywhere.

While I disagree with that statement, it also makes me think.

Stories are everywhere.

Take the short story I had to write for my creative writing class. We were told it had to be between 7-20 pages long and there were two rules. Rule number one it had to be real events happening to real people (basically no genre fiction) and rule number two, nobody could die in the story.

Taking those rules I started thinking about what was going on in my own life. I thought about the possibility of a move to the opposite end (north-south) of the country. I thought about my Nana with Alzheimer's and her struggle as well as my Granddad's struggle in helping her. I thought of my Dad's feelings about leaving a community that has become our home even though we've wandered far and wide.

I thought about family and what it means to love someone. In thinking about that I thought about a father's decision in who he loves more: his daughter or his dying, soon to be incoherent mother.

And that's when it hit me. I had a story to write.

My life became that of Zoey's. Zoey became an estranged college student who only talked to her mother. My father became Steve, the man who wanted to give everything to his daughter and failed in the one way she needed him to excel. My Nana became Ruth Hutchings, the woman who needed her son but barely recognized him.

The problem then became, not writing it, but deciding how the story should go since it is so symbolic. Should Steve not move to Alabama to be closer to his mother? Should he keep trying to reconcile with his daughter? Should he do somewhere halfway? (In case you were wondering, it's an eleven hour drive from Huntsville, Alabama to my university.)

Where should the ending be? Should there be a common theme throughout the story?

Finally, I finished. It took me three days. 1 day for the first draft, a day of rest and then 1 day for the second, longer draft. My tying together thread was Zoey and Steve sitting together at the local football games, stuffing themselves with peanuts and explaining over and over and over the rules of football.

See, maybe Mooring was wrong in that there is no such thing as writer's block. But they were definitely right when they said Stories are EVERYWHERE!

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Fitting it In

I start four classes tomorrow. I'm taking a total of 4 four-hour classes and 1 one-hour class. This means lots of non-recreational reading and note-taking. This also means I have less time to write.

Which brings me to the question, how do you fit in writing? What do you do when you are super busy? Go ahead, leave a comment. :)

Right now, I haven't had a whole lot of time to write. I've been busy with orientation, First Year Seminar homework, meetings and other fun things that make you feel ridiculously awkward. (Like walking into Opening Convocation serenaded by a bagpiper.) I've been trying to type up some journal entries but even that has taken a back seat to gelato parties for a floor mate's birthday.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I haven't been writing because I haven't had the muse. My muse is dead. Like, it decided to move to New Zealand and then died bungy jumping while I was moving into college. So that was the falling feeling when we were driving up to my dorm!

I tried writing something tonight and it just... it felt forced. Which brings up another problem. I am getting to where if I want to finish my WriYe goal (325,000 words) I need to get 890 words a day. 890 forced words a day are going to be torture, especially if I have three chapters of FYS reading and a poem to write for Intro to Creative Writing.

I'm sure my muse will return but for now, I'm not forcing myself to find time to write (other than my nightly journaling). And so, when my muse returns, (please return please!) I will have a nice time of balancing.

Anyone else experience this? Let me know what you think.

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