No, for real. It doesn’t. So get your head out of the clouds and realize the pressure is off.
But Guilliean, what are you saying?
Listen here, young blood. I’m here to make you realize and accept that you’re not original. What you think you have to say has already been said before in different tongues for many generations.
So what does that mean for me, you ask.
What you have to say and how you say it is what makes it original.
Boom. I blew your mind. It’s okay. Breathe.
I honestly have so much work from in-class prompts that I keep finding it in my notes. Here’s one from workshop last semester.
After death, I will grow and scatter myself and someone will say my name with love for the last time. Will they be male or female or someone in between? Will their declarations of love be for the People, or in front of the clouded bathroom mirror? Will the love they proclaim be eternal, will the next generation know my name as well as their own, will my name die on my lover’s tongue when they take their last breath?
This is my legacy. A death that may persist my Being to the next plane but I suppose I’ll never know if it will be remembered. I don’t have time for flowers and shit, but this is why I write. My legacy is the prose I will leave behind. Should I marry and bear children they will come of me but they will not be me. These words that I leave behind will be my inheritance. I apologize to my future children for admitting this but Nanay knows best.
Our culture will be downloaded and encoded in my words and they will be my Truth. I am that I that I announce. There is beauty in this dark and ugly world and I refuse to let it remain in the shadows.
I know I was banging on about flowers earlier but I suppose this whole exercise is flowers. I like sunflowers. I like anything with the word sun in their name. There’s something so humbling to know that at the inevitable end of the universe, the heat death that awaits us is contained and controlled by that large ball of gas in the sky. We call it the sun. How beautiful that something so far away could control us like an addiction. Like the firm grip of a mother’s hand to her child.
We are all children making steps to our heat deaths. Age moves like a waltz: dancing to a familiar beat. Let the beat drop. Open thyself to the warmth of the sun.
I miss the sun.
Week 2 of school. I’m feeling inspired. Nothing huge at the moment but I do feel my mind being open to possibilities, wherever they may take me.
In the past, I would have a silly Mary Sue of an idea but wouldn’t commit it to paper. But my mind would keep revisiting it, as though it were an intrusive thought. Now I type them up and expel them from my head. They’ll never see the light of day until I’ve died and they’ve become part of my literary estate lol. Accepting and giving a temporary voice to those thoughts allows the more fruitful seeds of potential stories to come forward and bloom, as they should.
I would like to think that by practicing this creativity mind flow is simply an exercise in mindfulness meditation that I do with Headspace. It’s about being conscious of those thoughts and knowing they are there but not letting yourself obsess. “I acknowledge you but you’re not bringing me down. Deuces.”
We were given a few pages from The Secret Miracle: The Novelist’s Handbook by Daniel Alarcón one week, and this was my reaction to what we read. I plan to read the book eventually.
I wish I had a bolt of lightning strike me as I read each author’s advice for writing a novel, but they were all solid. Some I skimmed over because what they were saying I already kind of knew and saw as the writing on the wall when it comes to writing in general, others were a hat tip of reassurance that it’s okay to have bad days and to keep persevering. I liked what Alexsandar Hemon said, “I think making ‘mistakes’ is an essential part of the creative process and therefore of becoming and being a writer.” Out of all the advice in this piece, this is the one I would absolutely give to my younger self. I was so bent on perfectionism as a child that I had a hard time simply enjoying the process. I was born to write, and I wish I had told younger me to chill out and heed that, first and foremost.
I wish I had the luxury to have a dedicated slot in my schedule to do nothing but write. Maybe in the future when I’ve graduated and I’m living off my writing. Pipe dream, perhaps, but that’s why I went into this program!
I had hoped I wouldn’t repeat my undergrad college experience: full-time day job while being a commuter student. I couldn’t avoid it though. Where I currently reside is right in the middle of school and work, and I spend more time commuting to work, and it just makes sense for now.