As a writer, I often internally narrate my own life. Not like all the time, but if a situation arises that would read well, I am all over it. My perverse sense of humour also has me constantly trying to communicate normally sad or disturbing situations in a comical tone. Here are a couple of examples:
"As she ate her third strawberry cheesecake cup of the evening, she inhaled and began choking on the graham cracker crumb crust. If I'm going to die from eating cheesecake, she thought, it can't be from fucking Tesco. Authentic New York-style cheesecake my ass."
"Fuck. People were cooking in the kitchen again. She avoided eye contact as she entered in her pajamas, silently removing the pint of Ben and Jerry's from the freezer as they chopped their vegetables with incredible precision."
So, there's that. I've been working a lot on the book lately, but also trying to make my finishing and marketing it fit into my Masters program's final project. I love marketing, I love social media, but it pretty much kills the creativity involved in simply telling a story. I've really been struggling with balancing finishing the novel and marketing myself. It has been suggested by some that I can't neglect the marketing aspect now, that this means I will miss out on some grand opportunity. In reference to that, let me just say fuck 'em. Because which of the following narratives would you rather read?
"She began to see the book everywhere. Brighton's moonlit water became the path Hestia followed to salvation. A look on the face of a train-bound commuter said without words the sentence that she had been trying to pull out of Tyler's mouth for the past couple of weeks. When she finally captured a feeling she had danced around her entire life in words, her teary eyes told her, 'This book may not be about you, but it is of you.'"
"Writing had, at one time or another, given her a sense of self that did not need to be validated by anyone else. That was great. It was not, however, going to trend on Twitter or get a million likes on Facebook. She had to be more realistic, she decided."
The first one, right? Listen, I didn't travel to London to study how to sell myself in artsier packaging. I traveled to London to find myself. And so maybe if I focus on actually just writing a compelling story, I will miss out on an opportunity or two. That's great. At the end of this year, I want to be able to say:
"I knew what I wanted to do and I did it," NOT, "I knew what I wanted to do and it got lost because I was scared to listen to myself."
So, classmates, please let's be bold and realize the dreams I know we must have carried with us into this program. And, every single person who reads this, share my Facebook or twitter or blog or something, because I'm going to have to neglect those things while I fucking finish a book :)
photo taken by Kate Lewis