Saturday, March 19, 2016

On Writing Epics and Dropping Stones

The skipping stone leaves ripples, but ripples fade. The stone sinks, but it continues to shift and sink into the earth.

Well, it's time to write.

I am conspicuously armed with my essentials: My favorite mug full of some cheap berry tea and my writing hoodie (acquired at an Army-Navy store in Tennessee) engulfing my mussed form. My favorite playlist is playing on Spotify, and Pinterest is up in another tab just in case I need some quick inspiration. I'm ready for this.

The problem is, I have no idea what I'm doing.

I've been writing for five or six years. In that time I have produced the beginnings of four novels, one completed short story and fourteen unfinished ones, twenty-odd poems that I would shudder to show anyone, and a lot of bad fanfiction. Like an artist trying to paint a masterpiece, I've been trying to write my epics and pretty much failing.

So I took a break for a while.

I didn't write for five months, except for blogging. I focused more on things like school and free reading and wandering around outside. I actually didn't miss it as much as I thought I would.

The truth is, I love writing. I'm working on a book that, with the grace of God, might actually work out. I love the romance of words and the ache my heart feels when I read a fairytale. But I'm not meant for an epic. I'm not meant to be a classic author, a second Tolkien or Chesterton or Kafka.

I used to think that meant I wouldn't make it as a writer at all. I mean, what was the point if I didn't touch someone's life or failed to create a character someone could relate with?

But the real point is this: The masters weren't the only ones who found joy in putting pen to paper. Writing is not about the people reading. It effects them, but it is a secondhand effect. The person who is different because of writing is the writer.

So this is my odd resolution for now: To no longer want to be a master, a writer of epics. I want to be a simple teller of fairy-stories. I want to paint watercolors on notebook paper, and leave the ceiling frescoes to some modern Michelangelo. 

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