One of those Thursdays . . .

It’s one of those Thursdays.

You know what I mean. Bright and sunny, 31 degrees – by all measures, a great day. But there’s something just plain blah about it.

“Blah” is such a descriptive word, isn’t it?

Anyway . . .

I have piles and piles of ideas for every kind of fiction story you can imagine. Notebooks full of ideas. File folders. Scraps of paper everywhere. And do you think I can turn any of it into a real live plot-twisting, mind-blowing, can’t-put-the-book-down-until-you-finish-it story?

Nope.

News articles keep catching my attention. Really, really horrible news articles. Like reports on little girls the same age as my 7 year old granddaughter being married off to old men in Yemen, or young women being victimized by soldiers in Pakistan. This is real life.

The stories in my head are not.

My “blah” comes from a bit of inner turmoil. The thought keeps coming to me that perhaps I should lay down my great Canadian novel dream for a time and write something useful – something that might make a difference.

This is a biggie for me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write fiction. And it never occurred to me that I would write anything else. Until now.

We’ll see how it goes.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “One of those Thursdays . . .

  1. Wendy, thank you, thank you, thank you, for being as confused as I was about this very thing–in the past. I expected that I would only ever write fiction too. I thought that if you wanted to be a serious, literary writer, you wrote fiction. I thought writing fiction was the best way to have the greatest impact on readers. I thought someday I'd turn all of my great ideas for stories into literary works of fiction, and make a career out of it. But it hasn't worked out that way. The only thing I seem to be able to write right now are blog posts, which amount to personal essays on ideas that come to me through living my life. The ideas come to me, I have something to say about them, and I go for it–all the while thinking my writing could be put to better use elsewhere. But could it? The struggle for me is to fictionalize something from my own life–to disguise real life and to give it meaning though developing characters and plot and setting and all of that. I realize many, many writers have done this very thing and been successful at it. But is it the best way? Why fictionalize when I can full out write what's important to me and how I feel about it? Why hide behind fiction when the direct route is always the best? And what I've found is, speaking your truth is the most direct way to write, to speak for others, and to make an impact in their lives. I love the personal essay genre, which is essentially what blog posts are, and I highly recommend that you give personal essays a chance. Some writers have made complete careers out of personal essays. There is no more immediate way to reach and to affect readers. You're already doing it, in your blog, Wendy. Keep doing it. You'll like it. I know you will.

  2. Wendy, I have another comment here, and it's simple. If you have all these resources that you can use to create great fiction with, and you haven't been able to do that, or you can't do it, at least for right now; and if you're being pointed in the direction of using your writing talent to work in different genres, say, personal essays, in the hopes of making contributions to other people's lives, then, it seems to me, the writing is on the wall, so to speak. You are meant to do this. It doesn't mean you'll do it forever, or that you'll never return to the idea of writing the great Canadian novel. It only means that you're getting the message to do something different right now because you're meant to. And you know where that message comes from, and what you must do with it. Believe me, writing something other than fiction doesn't mean you'll compromise yourself as an artist. It only means that's where your talent is best placed right now. Don't look at this as a bad thing. It's a good thing. It's moving you exactly where you are meant to be at this precise time in your life. It may be the BEST thing you ever do.That's all.

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