Today’s writing quote comes from a name well-known in poetry circles. It concerns the writability of our every-day lives:
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
In all honestly, I have mixed feelings about Miss Plath’s comments. For one point, few of us have lives so interesting that, even if significantly dramatized, they can be made into a motion picture. (And, to that point, few of us, I think, want lives that can be made into the sort of motion picture as was made of Miss Plath’s life.) So, really, what to make of this quote?
I was attracted to this quote, today, because of the phenomenal boringness of the last few days, vis-a-vis my work and what you’ve seen here in my blog (a series of references to the Decision Modeling class blog that I’ve submitted there as part of my class participation). Okay, so I personally think the blog about NASA was pretty interesting, but then I’m a nerd, and that was really more about my reaction to reading about that news than it was anything active or interesting in my life, personally.
So, class projects and long works-days during that special time of month at my day job have consumed me this past week. Is there something “writable” in that? How do you turn that around, and make it interesting and engaging for other people? How do you take something that’s fundamentally… well… boring and make it seem interesting and worth reading about? (I don’t mean that entirely in a negative way; I enjoy my Decision Modeling class, especially, but it’s not a topic that’s typically going to engage your average reader.)
A few years ago, I was struggling with this, as I was trapped in another even more boring and even more dead-end of a job than what I have now. It was during a time before I met Dear Wife. I had a bit of free time on my hands, and a few short stories came out of that time period (one of which was the original draft of the short story I’ve been working on and for which you see a progress bar and a “Submission Watch” on this page). One of those stories addressed the fundamental boringness of my job, and quickly became a very dark fantasy addressing a topic I wouldn’t ordinarily consider. (It’s a story that’s potentially on my revise/rewrite list, but it’s not near as good as the one I’m working on, and its fundamental premise is less interesting by far.) Honestly, I’m not sure it’s a story that will ever be publishable or salable – I mean, it might be with a lot of revision and work, but that’s a long shot, I think.
Well, regardless, it’s something to think about, I suppose.