Sometimes you need to take pride in the little things. I’ve been really struggling with my writing of late, lack of productivity and satisfaction with actual prose produced, and it’s been wearing me down. On Monday nights for the next three months, I’ll be sitting in on the novel writing class of Dr. Caron Freeborn, a writer and poet I’ve really come to respect and I certainly admire her zeal and passion for the craft.
In the first class, she inadvertently covered several things I’ve been stressed about regarding my PhD’s structure that has partially contributed to the writer’s block I think. We also did a short writing exercise, which I often love to do, even though most of the time I hate being put on the spot to write. Quite often it’s a weird way to get the elasticity of your creative muscles moving again. But when I buy those books of “1001 Writing Prompts” it feels like my brain is once again reduced to an empty cavern. I need to figure out a way to make it work solo for me.
For the exercise in class on the 5th of February, we were told to write down one or two lines or several characteristics and we put them in her hat and drew out one written by a fellow classmate. You can see the one I picked below:
“Mechanic, motorcycle rider, anti-authority, show off, caveman, ladies’ man.” We were told to craft a monologue, inner or otherwise. We only wrote for about fifteen minutes and I easily banged out on my keyboard the following:
There’s something you should know about the highway, the sonbitch tends to go on, but the gas in your engine can burn out. The radiator needs coolant. And yeah it’s fuckin stupid to go around without headlights on the sonbitch. I saw a dumbass the other day cruisin’ along with the rear break lights out. Where was I goin’ with this? Oh yeah, highways are not women neither. You can have scruff, you don’t vote, you give cops the bird on your bike, and you don’t give a damn about the speed limit, but highways are like women, there’s always one willing to take you for a ride.
Still, there’s always the shop. Your lady’s at home is like the garage. You call out and the doors open. No matter how many highways you’ve been down. The pope says you should always go bareback, but godddammit man, remember to wear leather and rubber for chrissake. Keep the skin from gettin’ all red and pussed after a tumble.
As you can see it’s far from being great, and the character is quite a piece of work himself, but I keep telling myself that I need to practice #BoringSelfCare and positively celebrate when I achieve something. It’s 150-ish words of something that is creative and even unique. I mean a “Hell’s Angel” type (as one classmate called it when I read my piece aloud) who actually endorses wearing a condom? Maybe there’s some redemption for this nameless asshole and it’s a further notch for me on my writer’s journey.
P.S. When I wrote the piece I think I was trying to capture the essence of Adam Baldwin’s Jayne Cobb from Firefly, with obvious added transgressive attributes. Maybe given a bit more time I could have redeemed him somehow, but for now he goes out onto the Internet in all the rough edges of my #BoringSelfCare acknowledgement.