Ryan

Writers Gotta Write

In Blog on September 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I enjoyed a wonderful Friday afternoon exhaustion nap and woke up with drool on my pillow.

I’d let a Sufjan Stevens live recording from YouTube carry me into other realms, in a way that no artist can do just like he. I mean, why else do any Stevens listeners invest their time in his music?

Exhausted because it was the end of a week. A standard for someone like himself, Ivan put it best in his “now now” vlog: I’ve been pouring all of my energy into everything because it’s the beginning of the semester instead of, you know, not doing that.

Excuse me as my eloquence spills onto the floor. I can promise Ivan’s prose is much more precise, and you can find that out for yourself when you click that “‘now now’ vlog” link.

I drove a great-yet-manageable distance today to interview a college professor and his students about their set designing work. We’re writing stories for hyperlocal community newspapers in one of my journalism classes, and, of course, I got matched up with the one that boasts the highest-mileage-away-from-campus award.

Of course, the experience was entertaining — I even interviewed a Nerdfighter, and we had a beautiful moment.

When I got home, I snacked on a cookie and thought how fulfilling it was to be home at the end of the day. And then I had a realization that I definitely want to work somewhere where I don’t have to bring work home with me at night. Which is what I’ve been doing in my past few semesters in college.

I like to come home and just enjoy being home. Watch some videos — well, that doesn’t happen as much anymore. Obsess over “The Social Network.” Pretend Andrew Garfield and I are working on a groundbreaking film. I love my pipe dreams.

I wake up, get to campus early — because, if I don’t, there’s no hope in parking — and do homework. It seems routine, and over the course of these blogs, you’ll understand how much I dislike routine, even though I find it evilly necessary for, you know, life. But it’s how I can make the separation between work mode and relax mode.

So, with my morning library trips in mind, tomorrow I’ll be making a special edition Saturday one to write an essay that’s due Tuesday. I’ve already planned an outline, so the worst part is writing the thing. Anyone who’s written critical literary analysis knows that the worst part is the initial draft because you truly have no idea where the paper will end.

It’s all a part of the crappy American institutionalized essay-writing I’m studying in my other English class: We place our conclusions — the thesis — at the beginning of the paper, but we’re expected to write that part first. It makes no sense, but we’ve got to do it because if we don’t, we won’t get a good grade, which, after all, is the point of school: to do everything passable enough to matriculate.

When I was driving home from Small City, Fla., I was thinking in my head about how I should write the story. What details should I retain, and what words I should use to add more flavor, texture and color to the piece. The editor told me he wanted me to “paint a picture with words,” which, of course, is the point of features writing.

I thought about the script I’ll need to write for the podcast I’m turning in on the same day this story is due. I thought about the blog post I’d need to write to improve my blog, this blog. I thought about the story I’m writing next week for the paper.

So, like the point of my new blog project, I came to the conclusion that writers gotta write. Aaron Sorkin didn’t write “The Social Network” as his first work. He wasn’t born shooting out “The West Wing” dialogue. He had to practice. Diablo Cody didn’t write “Juno” after graduating with a math degree. John Green didn’t push out “Looking for Alaska” in a week.

I was talking with friends about my situation with all of the papers and stories and every other small bits of writing I have to do slash complete before the weekend’s finished. Of course, Lizzie hit me with, “Well, you’re taking a lot of writing classes,” so, of course, I have a lot of writing homework. Duh.

But I’m taking these classes because I want to, as embarrassing as it is to admit, get a good grade (point average), so I can land a writing career one day. One that’s, you know, not for a kittens fanatics magazine that sits on the nightstand of every geriatric.

Although, that doesn’t sound too bad.

Unrelated video that helped me finally write this blog post: 
(Please let me be a jerk a clarify that I watched this video at its actual link on NPR’s website but am sharing the YouTube link for the embedded feature. You should go to the NPR page to watch it. Also, this video will help you appreciate Foster the People. I left it surprised that it’s the same band whose lyrics I crazily sang and danced to on a beautiful beach day toward the end of the summer and whose song airs on crappy Top 40 radio stations in My City, Fla.)

Song suggestion: “South Carolina” by Lulu Mae off the Tennessee Americana band’s on-iTunes EP, “Everything in the Whole Wide World.” The folksters are friends with Ivan, and he mentions them in that video I linked to earlier. I just heard this song this morning — because I watched that video this morning — and it stole my heart, obviously.

Click all of my links for helpful supplemental material on why I’m so crazy.

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