Friday, January 2, 2015

THE FIRST PAGE


Whenever anybody talks about journaling they always reference the infamous first page paralysis, that the only way to really get over it is to mess with it and do whatever, make it horrible and then just move on. So:

I've come to realize recently that I have a mind palace for all the things about myself that I'd rather forget. That when I'm sitting in the passenger seat of a car or trying to fall asleep, I narcissistically walk around it, reminding myself of the things that make me squirm with regret or shame. An argument that I got in with someone who was important to me sits around here. An anonymous confession that someone posted online that I'm pretty sure is about me goes over there. A stupid blog post that I wrote that made people angry goes in that corner. Everywhere I turn is a reminder of sometime I screwed up that maybe people don't think about anymore, but maybe they do.

I have a lot of things in my life that I am proud of, but as tall as I stand I still cast this shadow that acts as a sneaking suspicion that I somehow got here by mistake. That I got lucky and have been faking it, and soon people will figure that out. I mean, I'm not that great of a writer. I still get Bs on all my academic papers. My creative nonfiction professor told me that my writing "doesn't make sense" and that I should try doing the opposite of what I'm doing now. (She was right)

Yet I still walk around parroting "I'm a writer look at me share my article aren't I great la dee da." I read essays by Marina Keegan and I'm like, where did she find those words? I could do the monkey-with-a-typewriter thing for years and yet the only sentence I'd produce would be some variation of "I'm still sad about a break up."

Even this, right now, might not end up anywhere. I flip flop around with wanting to be honest on the internet, but then take that away when it ends up getting me in trouble. I write in fear of being someone's hate-read. And then, of course, there's the distinctly likely possibility that nobody will read my work at all.

So I guess this is a welcome. If you're hate-reading or read-reading or don't-know-how-you-got-on-this-blog-reading, thanks for reading it all the same. This is my first page. It's messy. Let's move on.

3 comments:

  1. Kate- don't listen to any of it! The anonymity of the internet makes people suck more than they already do, and professors just exist to bolster themselves and minimize their students. You are a very honest and entertaining writer-- go for it!

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  2. I completely empathize...I've often wondered how much control a reader truly has on a writer? Although I'm still struggling to come up with an answer, the best advice I can give you (and myself) is that you're the one with the pen; I say you write whatever the hell you want! Also, love your reference to Marina Keegan...so much talent. Good luck!

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  3. James Joyce was fascinated with paralysis ... take a look at his writings.... they can be very clarifying .

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