The words, “You should write a book” has been told to me several times throughout my professional career. In fact, it was said to me this morning by someone I work with after overhearing part of a conversation. It is a goal. I keep messing with format and topic and writing and rewriting. I have always written poetry and have recently given myself assignments to write short stories, which I truly enjoy. I am working on a hybrid book full of short stories, poems, and flash fiction which is going well, and I am pleased with so far. This hybrid concept was inspired by Nikki Giovanni’s book Chasing Utopia. Lydia Davis’ style of writing is an inspiration as well and similar to my own writings. She is unique and I wish to find more authors with her writing style.
I have committed to writing more this year and have been successful. The Slice of Life challenge has now become part of that goal. There is a vulnerability to writing that I never quite get over. As a teacher, I write in front of students all the time but I feel that is a culture – a tribe that is being formed because the students are sharing their writing as well. I do not have the advantage of a group of writers to share the work with but I have a few spare friends that I allow to read my stories. I submit to contests sometimes, but i know that simply the act of writing and writing and writing will make me better.
I have been described as odd many times throughout my life and have embraced this description. I realize now I am an INTJ which is part of being “odd” in a certain sense. I see the world differently than many people and I am ok with that now.
I shared recently that I want an MFA in creative writing. If I win the lottery I will go back to school – that is certain. Until then, I have created my own independent study and download the many syllabus from prestigious universities. I download reading lists and assignments. Some are from the University of Iowa, some are from Harvard. I am taking myself through a short story class. I order the textbook and write.
To be a better writer I know I need to read so I continue that practice daily. We will see how the bits of my life end up in my stories as I push forward.