Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lost in your Imagination


When going to write a blog post today, I stumbled upon this post that I wrote about two weeks ago. It is not up to date, but I am posting it anyway.

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This past Saturday, I did something unusual. The something itself was not so unusual, but the fact that I braved it alone was.

Last week, I joined the mailing list of The Book Cellar, my local book store. I figured a book store is a great place to get involved in the community. By chance, the highlighted event for Saturday was a workshop for YA writers, hosted by other YA writers. Could this have been any more perfect?

I went back and forth on my decision of whether or not to go. I made claims that I didn't want to miss out on Saturday night extravaganzas. Tried with fail to persuade my very non-writer friends to come with me. Prayed for a soar throat or headache.

But I suppose you could say that I never really had a choice.

On Saturday, I woke up, then proceeded to sit in my favorite part of the couch until evening. And what was I doing for so long? I didn't once turn on the t.v to watch a movie; I didn't serf the internet, and I wasn't doing an elaborate cross-stitch of the Sistine Chapel. No. I was sitting on the couch alternating between my computer and my iPad. Going from reading a ya novel to writing my own ya novel.

The reality was very clear. This is a world that I love to exist in. A world of fantasy and make believe. A world where you don't need to be athletic, great at crosswords, or have the best fashion sense (and it is clear from most ya novels that many of the authors have an abysmal fashion sense). Simply a world where all you need to employ is your imagination.

So, after a day of shadowhunters and memory runes, I got off my couch and headed to the book store. Placing my trepidation aside and embracing the oncoming tide, I headed to a place where maybe a handful plus people also love to exist inside of the imagination.

I didn't want to go. And though the social interaction was daunting, I really didn't want to go because I feared that if I were placed in this situation, the truth would be revealed. I would be exposed. This lie about writing would be painted on a blank canvas for all to see. They would tell me that I have no talent, steal my pen, and send me home.

This did not happen. Indeed it was incredibly non-threatening. I wasn't forced to write a haiku and then perform it while standing on a table (although, I am no stranger to performing poems on tabletops). Rather, published ya writers talked to us about their writing experiences. They highlighted different elements that can help create a book. Overall, it was not mind blowing stuff, but it was fun to sit there and acknowledge the fact that I was enjoying myself. I liked hearing what they had to say. I liked participating in the brief writing exercises. I liked feeling as though I was in a place where I kind of did belong.

Me, the person who can't listen to a lecture past the first minute because daydreams are calling my name, spent the whole time paying attention. I suppose it is easy to pay attention when you actually enjoy the topic. Remind me, how did I graduate with a business major?

I had dipped a toe into the writing ocean, now I would say I am nearly ankle deep. Like walking into the actual ocean, if you don't go fast enough, you will feel the bone deep chill and dash out of the water. The solution is to just keep going. Keep walking and once you get deep enough, maybe you will discover that you are actually a mermaid.

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