journal

Journal Session: On the Cusp

It’s been building up for a few months now. This dormancy I’ve experienced since the autumn of 2017 has been lifting. I’ve gone from smatterings of writing in my notebook here and there to writing several times per week again, and it’s trickled into a daily session over the last couple weeks. In 2019, I didn’t even get through one full notebook, but I already feel in my bones that 2020 will be much more prolific.

Last night, I sat at the kitchen table in my boyfriend’s house at one in the morning and just wrote out a page full of ideas for a couple poems I’m very excited about and for Caspertown, my novel-in-progress. Let me tell you, it’s been in-progress for far too long; the truth is, I should definitely have a full draft by now. But last night, the ideas just poured out and the story started clicking. Progressions began to take shape. I got frustrated this week, to be honest, because the revamped first chapter was off to a slow start, and I just wasn’t sure how I was going to spin it to get the story off on the right foot.

Not every day is going to be a good day as an artist. Some days just drag and make you wonder why on earth you chose this for yourself, why you continue to pursue something that could so easy demolish your heart. But I’ve found that most days aren’t like that once I’m in “the trance”. I’m so engrossed with an idea that the words just seem to get onto the page. No matter if they’re great or end up in the final product, I’m there, enjoying the writing process. But there are those certain days when nothing is panning out how you’d like on the page, days that spur all sorts of anxiety. I had one of those this week. I know this story is important, but feeling like I wasn’t starting it off right made me question it and my capabilities as a writer. On these days, I found it’s important to remember that time actually does help in shaping up our art. Getting out and living can make all the difference.

Happily, I’m enjoying this view a lot more lately.

2020 will be the year of a lot of things. I’m diving back into genres I’ve neglected, like creative nonfiction and poetry. I’m developing pieces more fully and preparing them for wherever they may end up. I find myself producing more ideas for specific projects instead of spewing out random ideas that never come to fruition.

I’ve always been very tough on myself in every aspect of life, from athletics to school to work, to writing. I hate feeling as though I’m creating something that’s somehow subpar, but I think that in the initial draft, we must remind ourselves that the drafting process is beautiful in its own way. There’s so much instant gratification that can happen at the snap of our fingers these days, but art is not one of those things. There will always be little tweaks, edits, and revisions we want to add on to make the outcome as close to our imaginative vision as possible. It takes time. Getting out of a creative rut takes time and living. Creating a “final” piece takes time and living. So we need to give ourselves time and let ourselves live.

I’m really trying to embrace the Caspertown process this time around, and for the first time in so long I feel completely committed to it. I’m on the cusp of something here. Perhaps there is nothing more exciting for an artist as knowing that a simple idea they once had is becoming something so much bigger and nuanced. That’s what I’ve been working with lately. I feel on the cusp of great things this year, in writing, in business, in relationships, and in everything else.

Much Love, Quinn

Post Prompt: How are you feeling at the start of this year, creatively and otherwise?

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