I need to write fiction. It is my goal to write. Only problem is, I feel terrified by having to write. I am not a perfectionist about many things. Scrapbooking is an activity of squinting at the page and pronouncing, “Yup, that looks straight. Sort of.” And then slapping some glue down. Anyone who has spent much time with me and a house has seen first hand how I approach housecleaning with the attitude of “it's good enough...”
Some things, some things I want to be perfect. Knitting. One of the hardest activities for me as an adult was to learn knitting, and be mediocre at it, and still keep going. I unraveled a lot of wool. Heck, I still unravel a lot. When I actually do knit, that is. I have a personal rule to never knit when it's warm. I can't handle all that stuffy, hot yarn touching my hands and warming up my lap. Sewing. I can't handle sewing, because in my mind's eye I know what I want. I love to plan sewing, to pick out fabrics, to love fabrics. But then the actual work of sewing I really struggle with. This may be partly because my sewing machine is the hand me down of my mother's, and I have to re-sew approximately 50% of all seams, because the tension is permanently wonky, and so half the time a seam will fall apart on its own, because the stitches are so wide. It's like when I went to sew my first medieval dress, which also happened to be my first real sewing project ever, not counting the peach fabric I sewed on badly in eighth grade. My first medieval dress – a three part project of underdress, cote'hardie, and sideless surcoat, were respectively sewn out of nice muslin, apple green raw silk, and a stormy blue damask. I loved that fabric. And then I, with help, cut it out and sewed it. And it looked so much less than I had imagined it. So much more generic. The neck was too large, and the hemming was sloppy. Every medieval outfit I have sewn, and I think there are only three total, has turned out so much less than I thought it would, or should. I cannot handle my mediocrity in sewing, and I don't know how to overcome this. I took a sewing class in College, so I do have the basic skills. And I do not think it's innate inability. No, I think that all I really need is practice. But I do not want to practice, because it won't be perfect.
I can't write either (pay no attention to these printed words), because it won't be good. My dialogue will be stilted, my plots transparent, and my descriptions hackneyed and overwrought. And yet, any writing I think of producing will never be more than this unless I actually do it. I don't want to be an award winning author. I don't even want to write a novel necessarily. And I definitely have no intentions of attempting publication. I just want to spread my wings on the creative horizon. In my adult life I have written all of two short stories. And I'm counting my adult life as beginning when I was a freshman in high school. I wrote one story for my freshman English, and won the school's Reflections contest, I might add, and then I wrote one story, a redacted Cinderalla story, for my persuasive writing class my senior year of College. That's it – the sum total of my written fiction outside of elementary school.
I have always been an avid journalist, and clearly I do not suffer with writing about myself. I could write memoirs of my life – that certainly seems to be a popular activity for many pop books. But, at the tender age of 26 I do not think I would have much wisdom to impart, less still many life events to review. But, despite my blogging, which I love, I wanted to try and do something a little different, a little more made up. I set out at the top of this page to begin writing to loosen my mind, to prep me into writing fiction. It's the method I started most papers with in College – writing about my inability to write the paper, and then within a paragraph I would work my way toward the subject, and then zoom on into the Introduction. Once the paper was written, I would just go back and erase the meandering thoughts, and it was all beautiful. Now, instead of working my way into writing, I just wrote a blog post. What does this say about me? And how can I start practicing creative writing? Please, I'd love little writing exercises and ideas. Otherwise, there may be a lot more meandering blog posts I publish, which were written in an attempt to get over my fear of mediocrity.