There are now four stories spinning around in my head vying for my attention, fighting for purchase of the ever-crowding creative city of my insides, wrestling it out for that strangely coveted spot of “the project” I’m working on now. If I could I would quit everything else and just write them all, let them each have their space and their say, but that’s not realistic, feasible, or any of those “practical” words (insert practicality here), so I think that maybe this clumsy girl needs to learn how to juggle and work a little bit on all of them.
Girl to the Front (Let’s Finish Something)
That said, this notion (or plan, or naive goal) does conflict with my desire (and need) to finish one project at a time. I have issues with finishing, with not running away in the middle, with not being seduced by the “new thing”, that I need to confront head-on. Will I ever be able to finish anything if I dabble in everything?
Or is this a symptom of my perfectionism, a symptom of my anxiety disorder and low self-esteem issues. If it doesn’t come quickly and perfectly, I give up or put it aside. Or is it fear of vulnerability, of putting something I’ve spent so many years and years working on out into the world where it may be rejected. Another symptom, or issue – deep, wide, and encompassing rejection and abandonment issues.
I’’m listening to Liz Phair. It started because I was doing a write-up on Whip-Smart which led me into a nostalgic spin in her first three albums. The ’90s were all about me and my love of female musicians. It was Lilith Fair and Riot Grrrls nearly 24/7. I was in my twenties. I was a mess. I was lost and found and all those things in-between. I was questioning everything about myself – my sexuality, my relationships, my dreams, my body. I was rash and bold and brave and spontaneous. I wore my heart dangling on my sleeve. I fell in what I thought was love a lot (it was never love, at least not the big kind, the kind that you hope will last). I broke my so-called heart a lot. I made a ton of mistakes and made a ton more changes. I met some amazing people who would become some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and most of them lived far, far away from me. The internet and I met (and yes, I fell hard – I was falling hard all the time in the ’90s). And yes, I needed A BIG LOAN FROM THE GIRL ZONE (to quote Tori, though I am listening to Liz right now).
I think of the characters I’m playing with. I decided to kill one recently, though I don’t know how I’ll be able to do it as I love him so very much. I became reacquainted with another character this week, one I’d thought not to touch again, but she showed up all smiles and issues and stories to tell. She is the most like me (if it could be memoir I’d let it, but there is so much fear in that for me – so she stays in the land of creative non-fiction/fiction, for now), which often makes her the hardest to write.
I need to take more photographs of places I want to eke out as setting and space. Honing my skills of setting and space, of being able to bring them both to life in a way that the reader can feel and see and smell and maybe even taste the surroundings is something I’m focusing attention on right now. It’s not a strong suit, and I don’t want to over-do it, but I want to get better at it.
Visuals are a big thing to me, so I feel like a good practice would be to take photos and use them as writing prompts. See how much I can describe a place or space. Get down to the tiniest details, but also swoop in from an aerial view. I think it might help.
I wish I could sleep more. That insomnia would ease up a bit. That I wouldn’t finally fall into that delicious level of sleep where dreams come right before my damn alarm is set to go off. I walk around most days now feeling like a “walker”, shuffling from work to school to home to another failed attempt to sleep again.
I close my eyes and all the characters come to life. Stories unfold, plots and dialogues and things that I don’t want to quiet because I need them. But could they just take a night or two off from my brain? Let Ladysleep and I have a two-night affair or something?