Creative Processing: A Confession

After reading Farenheit 451, the second book I read by Ray Bradbury (the first being Dandelion Wine, which I fell in love with immediately), I read an interview with him that was in the back of the book. One of the things he said, which I remember pretty much weekly, is that he writes every single day, and no writer should do any less. This gave me a lot of anxiety immediately after reading, not only because I didn’t (nor do I now), but because I thought all those others were wrong. Those others being people I heard read their novel or poetry and then answer the ever-common-question, what is your writing routine with a “I wake up at 5 AM to write.”

I don’t even want to have something published and then read in front of people just so I don’t have to answer that question, but maybe I’ll be ready by then, who knows.

But the “being ready” idea is a sham, too. And here’s why both these things are shams.

No matter how many times we’re told it, don’t believe it’s not true—everyone has their own way of processing.

This is true even with life in general. Now, this is not to say that we shouldn’t push ourselves, set goals that we may not be able to obtain, nor am I saying any of this to make myself feel less guilty. But tonight, I finally sat down to write after a long week, and I’m glad I let myself rest first. I set an alarm to write before work, and I snoozed it (too long, but we don’t have to go there). But this is me. Maybe you need to wake up or you won’t do it later. The idea is your own confidence in yourself. And that’s where “being ready” comes in.

So, here’s the thing. I’m writing a novel. I don’t even like saying it because I feel like I’ve been told or maybe just it’s been implied that I should wait until I have an MFA or be forty. But the ideas came to me, and if I felt like I should wait or maybe just write some nice flash fiction pieces in my young age, I would be missing out on this buzz, and this story with characters I already love.

Another thing is, I want to tackle lots of things, and I already have. These ideas are friendship, cultural identities on one end and cultural awakenings on the other, and how music can work wonders, especially within those who struggle with anxiety and depression. Maybe this is too much to take on, but life doesn’t let us pick and choose, so I want to write something with things thrown at readers just like life does. This will take a long time, and I’m ready to be patient, knowing that I may not “be ready,” but I believe that phrase doesn’t exist. Sure, there are plenty of things that should wait to be ready, like a pizza. We shouldn’t eat raw dough and cold pepperoni, unless that’s how you roll (pun intended). But sometimes things get thrown at you when you’re not ready, but you have to be anyways, and hopefully it’s not a pizza.

All of this to say,  I think I’m *almost* ready to admit I’m a rookie 22 year old writing a novel. And I hope it goes somewhere, unlike the semi-shameful one I wrote in high school. Only semi-shameful because it was high school, so I’m cutting myself some slack. This is just one step further in admitting to myself that I’m tackling something huge, and that’s okay.

Published by celinamcmanus

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