I’m a rough draft (and that’s cool)

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Well, here it is. If you’ve ever looked at me and thought, “I would love a direct IV of her keyboard gibberish”, this is for you.

This blog is actually really for me. Don’t get me wrong- I really do hope that people enjoy the things I write and choose to continue reading them. It’s just that writing is a hobby that is really good for me. There are so many half-formed ideas bouncing around in my head. When I can motivate myself to do something about them, I become a writing machine. I create pages and pages of words that usually end up in a half-filled notebook and left at the bottom of a closet or in a desk drawer. I am a serial drafter.

This is my solution. If I can hold myself accountable to one piece of (hopefully) presentable writing a week, I can clear my head a little bit. I can also conquer the world.

…Okay, okay. One step at a time.

A much-needed spring break

Spring break started out with some traveling. I’ve been traveling a lot over the past few months, but usually for weekend band and choir trips. I get to do things I enjoy and spend time with my friends, so I do have a lot of fun. That fun usually comes with some mild distress to my sleep schedule. There are also performances to worry about, as well as an inevitable exhausted return to school on Monday morning. Going somewhere purely for enjoyment has become a foreign concept to me.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were spent visiting my grandparents in Virginia Beach. Our visits are usually made up of pleasant local outings during the day and vibrant dinner table conversation in the evenings. This time was no exception. Saturday was a long day of college laptop and prom dress shopping, while Sunday was a very windy attempt at a beach trip. I forgot my sunglasses, so I spent a good portion of that afternoon with a towel over my head. I still ended the day a bit red.

On Monday we started our journey home and that evening we stayed in Baltimore. For me, the most exciting part of visiting a big city is the mountain of vegan dining options. I dragged a friend to Verde Pizza. The menu full of unpronounceable Italian food items included a satisfying selection of vegan pizzas. The pizza came in a “definitely-larger-than-personal” size. I ate all of mine anyway.

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The little hummus-y looking blobs are a yummy cashew creme.

By late Tuesday afternoon I was home. I hadn’t had several days at home to myself probably since winter break. With graduation a month away and summer on my doorstep, I resolved to use the rest of my spring break for productivity save the relaxation for later.

It’s not a blog post without the introspective stuff, right?

Like most people, I have a pile of non-urgent things on my plate a lot of the time. These are little things like emails that need to be sent, checks that need to be written, and forms that need to be filled out. These are the little tasks that won’t kill me if I put them off for a few days, but with time they become daunting chores. Although a to-do list bullet itself never changes, I eventually become guilty about not doing it, and that guilt causes me to put it off for even longer. Part of me hopes it will just go away and the rest of me knows I’m just making things worse by delaying action.

With all of the time on my hands, I resolved to endure being a little uncomfortable and chip away at this pile of stuff. I also had to clean my room, which was a task and a half in itself. Or maybe three. I had some online schoolwork to do as well.

I’m happy to report I did make some progress on of these things. Sitting for hours and hours and folding clothes and mindlessly replying to emails did, however, give me a lot of time to think.

I don’t want to say I spent the past week “getting my life together”, because that implies that I didn’t have it together before. I sort of did. But this week I gained some idea of where I am. I realized that I’m sort of like a rough draft. When I’m writing and I create my initial draft, I’m proud of it. It’s not where I want it to be, but I don’t hate it. It’s the most natural way that writing exists. It lacks elegance. It still has charm.

What I really enjoy though is that the rewriting and the revising. When I start into the editing stages of something I write, I have some idea of where I want it to be. I usually don’t discover what I really want until I’m in the process of editing. That’s sort of where I am now with myself. I feel like doing all of these little things and cleaning out my wardrobe and preparing for college is a pretty big editing streak, and now that I’m in the middle of that I’m starting to see who I want to be. It’s still me, but a version of me that replies to emails in a timely manner, practices tuba a little more, and dresses a lot better.

The other neat thing about writing is that there are always changes you can make. You can polish a work and make it more pleasing and grammatically correct. You can make it into a piece that would receive a satisfactory grade from a professor, but there are always parts you’ll look at after a few years and think that maybe there are details you could improve on. “Finished” doesn’t really exist in creative fields. It also doesn’t exist in human beings.

I guess it’s only fitting then that I’m a serial drafter. However, these things are different because serial draftiness is a bad habit. Being a work in progress is an awesome thing. The “it’s not about the destination but rather about the journey” quote is cliche enough that I turn my nose up at it, but it does apply here. If I were at the destination, I would be stagnant. Change is fun and I know I have a hell of a lot of it in my forecast.

I promise that my future posts will be a little more exciting and a little less rambly. But I also felt that this blog sort of needed an introduction, and that this was an appropriate way to set up all of the stuff to come. Hemingway does a really great job of very vividly developing the setting before truly introducing the action. I don’t have the nerve to compare myself to that caliber of great, but that’s sort of the idea here. This is my prologue.

 

 

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