I swear I am changing the name of this blog to, MY POOR NEGLECTED BLOG. I’ve threatened to do it before, but I’m serious now. Although, it’s not that I’ve been neglecting it so much as I am frigging uninspired when it comes to writing. The thought of my fingers on the keyboard trying to fill in a blank page makes me nauseous.
In order to re-boot the creative process, I have joined a writing group that meets once a week. We write together on a decided topic and then share what we have written if we feel so inclined. The inspiration for the group is loosely based on the book THE ARTIST’S WAY, by Julia Cameron. Most creative people I know are familiar with this book and the practice of the Morning Pages (writing three pages every morning when you first awaken, which will pretty much NEVER happen in my world, but it’s a nice thought).
At the end of the last meeting we were given a handout with some writing prompts to keep us writing throughout the week. The first one captured my attention:
– Imaginary lives; jot down five lives you would like to live and their appeal.
What was interesting to discover after two pages of writing about FIVE LIVES I WOULD LIKE TO LIVE was that I want to be famous, or semi-famous. Famous in a subtle, respected way, not in a limelight, red carpet way. At least I don’t think so. I was stunned at this self-revelation.
Dictionary definiton of famous:
having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature
; renowned; celebrated:
a famous WRITER. (Hello? WRITER is part of the definition of famous. What the…?)
I consider myself a pretty private person and somewhat of an introvert. I have been labeled as a daydreamer, a wallflower, a sitting-in-the-back-row type of girl, a shy and quiet person, someone who needs to talk more and withhold thoughts less. So, when I read over my FIVE LIVES pages I began to wonder if maybe I was wrong about myself.
Maybe those identity labels I had acquired in childhood and kept close to me on into adulthood no longer applied. It’s true that I have trouble voicing my thoughts and will never be called a CHATTY CATHY, but some things have changed.
I have to speak in public now for my job and I’m getting better at it every time (even though I still get a dry mouth and major jitters). Through work, I have been thrust into the limelight more times than I care to mention whether it’s in the press or in person. I have a BLOG, for Pete’s sake! Blogs are pretty public arenas that expose the writer to the cyber world.
Diane Keaton in front of "The House".
My most favorite of the FIVE LIVES I wrote about was the one that Diane Keaton’s character, Erica, had in the movie SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE. She was a respected and recognized playwrite, she lived in a gorgeous house on the beach, she had a good family, she had some male admirers (even though I could do without Keanu Reeves in my life. And Jack Nicholson for that matter), she spent her birthday in Paris, she ended up with real love at the end of the movie. She had some fame because of her work, but it was subtle fame. And yes, I realize she was a fictional character, but it was the idea of that life that appealed to me.
All this to say, it was a revealing writing project and I highly suggest it. When was the last time you looked at yourself, who you are and who you want to be? It might be a lot different from what it used to be. AND, this writing class has worked. It inspired me to write on through the nausea and create THIS NON-PULITZER PRIZE WINNING BLOG POST, but by God it’s a post. Let’s hope it continues.
Write on, Sisters and Brothers.
PS: I'm on track to spend my birthday in Paris this year - in December. So now all I need are a hit play (or screenplay) and an awesome house. Oh, and the True Love part.