Life of a Writer

          I like to consider myself a writer. I love having the time to sit down and work on my craft by getting my thoughts and feelings down in poetry. I think sitting down right now and writing this post is both quite ironic and sad. The one problem that I have is that I don’t have the luxury to sit down and spend an hour or more of my time trying to write. But when I do find those moments of bliss, it is amazing. The feeling you get from spending hours creating something that’s been trapped in your head is such a rush. Now trying to figure out if that creation is good or complete shit, is a completely different story for a later time. For this post, I would like to explain what my life is like trying to be a writer. I want to show you how, with my busy schedule, I still find moments to express myself.

          So, I can start from the beginning and tell you how I was in the womb writing daily logs about how it felt to be a fetus. I could also tell you about how I haven’t stopped writing ever since I was brought into this world, how I knew at a young age that I loved writing. But all of that would be a lie. Believe it or not, math was my favorite subject for a long time. I will say that I have always liked writing and considered myself a good writer, but I didn’t love it until I came into college. My love for writing started with my Writing 150 course, and from there it has continued to grow. For those who may not know, writing 150 is the basic writing course that freshman is required to take. It was in that class that first started improving my writing skills and would actually look forward to getting homework. Crazy, right? Then it wasn’t until the middle of my sophomore year that I decided to add Creative Writing as the minor to my Cinema Studies major. Making that decision ensured that I could really focus on getting better with my writing and find a path that was right for me. I started taking Screenwriting courses, and enrolled in a course to teach me about poetry and fiction, which is where I discovered my passion for poetry.

I know that it seems like I should be writing all the time with my minor being Creative Writing, or with my major being Cinema Studies. The fact is, yes, I am always writing: journal entries reviewing movies, writing papers, writing scripts, writing poems, writing about my experiences with music. I do believe that any writing that I do is ultimately good for me, but there’s a difference between writing for educational purposes and writing for myself. I feel that writing for educational purposes is simply doing something that you have to do and it doesn’t give you the same satisfaction as writing for yourself. It still feels amazing when you finish a writing assignment, or any assignment, and you can appreciate something that you created. But if you compare that feeling to what you feel when you write something for yourself, something that you were driven to create, a creation that wouldn’t let you stop until it was whole, then it is noticeably different. I once spent two hours writing two poems and it was one of the best feelings ever because I didn’t stop until they were perfect. The thing about writing anything is, whether it be poetry, stories, scripts or any piece of work that you want to do for yourself, you will have a hard time stopping until it is perfect in your eyes. Then once you take a break from it and go back to it, you still work on making it even more perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I made sure that my school work is great, but like I said before, it’s just different.

With having to do school assignments, work, remind myself to eat, keep a social life, and try to have time to allow myself to breathe, it has become almost impossible to find the time to write. If there is a time when I finish a homework assignment, I will immediately jump into the next assignment or start planning for the next week of homework that’s coming. Even when I get some free time at work, I use that time to get ahead or catch up on some homework. When I am spending time with friends, I am mentally planning out the tasks that I need to get done, instead of working on poetry in my head.

So being the writer that I am, what I value most is getting time to express myself. Lately that task has become so difficult that I haven’t written a full poem in 2 months. Given that I am saying how busy my life is and how I don’t have time to myself, I want to tell you about how I don’t let that kill my creativity. I find ways to keep going.

During my two month, dry spell though, I did take a few seconds of my day to write down some quick notes on stories or poems that I wanted to write. I like to refer to these notes/moments as my sparks of inspiration. These moments happen at any time throughout my day and I have to hurry and write it down before I forget. It can be a simple word that I want to build a poem around, like the word “Thorns”. Over the summer I thought about that word and spent an hour writing a poem about thorns. Other sources of inspiration come from my experiences that I have had in life, using my pain and personal relationships to write about my feelings. When these moments strike, I can’t do anything else but write. Last week, I was in class and I got an idea to write about how I am constantly giving to people when I don’t have anything left to give, a poem about helping myself before I help others. Like I said, I was in class when words started to form lines, so I pulled out my notebook and just started writing. I know that I was using up class time, but I feel like when you feel the urge to write out a good idea you have, you must take that risk before the idea fades away.

I can tell you that I have a notebook with ideas, lines, words, quotes and all things to get me inspired to write. At times, this can be very inspiring to me, and it feels amazing when I add more ideas to it, but then it is also very sad. It’s sad having ideas build and not having a way to get them out. I know it may seem so simple to just say, “Just do it, write something”, but I can’t. If I take the time to do something personal, no matter how much I love it, when I could’ve been using that time for homework, I will not be able to focus on anything. I would feel bad for not using my time wisely and getting my homework done. I finish one week of assignments, and then it’s time for the next week of assignments. Yes, I have time here and there to make notes on scripts that I wish to write or write incomplete poems, and that to me, is enough for the time being. I know that I will get that time eventually, and having my creative notes will pay off in the end. I think the best thing that I can say is that I am preparing…? I am getting ready for that next chunk of time that I get, and then I will release everything that I have been holding back and finally finish poems that are incomplete, and it will be wonderful and I will love every bit of it. I’m telling you, all it takes are those tiny moments to keep your story alive.

Carlton Walker    Carlton Walker

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