I feel like I’ve written more than I have in this past school year than I have in my entire college career put together (minus this school year, that is – if not that would be mathematically impossible, or quite simply, illogical). This is due to a combination of my thesis, my two fiction writing classes, my creative nonfiction class, and my writing portfolio. I think I had intentionally saved these ‘fun’ writing classes for the end of my college career. But here I am, week 5 into my final semester, feeling completely drained. So I guess in hopes of restoring some writing inspiration, I come to my free and open writing space to write whatever I want – void of constraints of fitting into a theme, a genre, an audience – and perhaps I can start writing something for myself again.
Somewhere in the process of this mass churning of creative written work, I started to feel like I’m telling the same stories over and over again. I’m talking about the same things over and over again. I keep thinking about how I have pieces that are already good written – so I guess I’ll workshop them instead. But workshopping has been a complete nightmare. My eyes run over the word imprints on my screen over and over again and they all sound the same, they all sound bland, they all sound set in stone, as if there’s nothing I can do to change any of it. I’ve done the thing where I pull up a blank document beside a written work and rewrite like that because it’s easier to omit than to delete. It works, sometimes, but these days I find myself falling into the lazy rhythm of simply retyping what I see because it seems easier that way. Sure, I make minor changes – I delete an ‘and’, add a ‘but’, shift a comma – but these are such minute changes that aren’t enhancing my work in anyway. Polishing my sentences is not something I should be doing at this stage of my writing – I need to feel free to move my ideas around, tear them apart and piece them together in different places, throw some ideas out for good, and attract bigger, better, and stronger writing.
But I keep holding on to these pre-written ideas – thinking that there must be some value in them simply because I produced it at one point. They’ve become precious to me, even if it’s terrible writing, and I keep holding on to them, thinking that if I dig deeper perhaps I’ll find gold. Yet I’ve gotten so sick of re-reading these works that maybe I just need to toss them out and start from scratch again.