Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writer's block isn't the right phrase, but it's the first thing that comes to mind

Two of my classes this semester are creative writing classes, poetry and fiction. My other English course requires small papers every week or two. It's not that I lack something to say. (I rarely have nothing to say.) Yet whenever I am supposed to write for any of these classes, I feel like I am at a loss. I think I"m afraid that, if I open it up, I'll never stop. That if I allow myself to start writing what I feel, what I think, I'll never run out. I won't do anything but write, pouring myself onto the paper. Not working or going to school. Not eating or drinking or caring for myself. And no edits or re-writes because I never stop writing the first draft. I can't hand-write as fast as my thoughts. And I don't want to spend my life chained to a computer, nott that my typing can keep up with my thoughts either, but it is closer.

Tomorrow's reading for my rhetoric class is a piece (from 1975) about how women should claim their own writing and their own bodies. But there is a fear in that for me that stills my pen until the thought vanishes or is just a shadow of its original glory. Should I just put off the other things I'm supposed to be doing just to record, develop, lay bare my thoughts and ideas? The practical has to enter into it eventually. Plus, I'm not sure how to give my inner workings life, especially in regards to my fiction writing, to transform what goes on in my head into more than just a journal. It's easier in poetry, but perhaps not as satisfying. And how can I create "need-based" modernist fiction, as I've been intructed to for this class, while also using a "feminine voice," as is suggested by the author of that piece? Are the two anti-thetical?

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