Laying the Groundwork

Just realized the month is almost over and the new year’s resolution to start writing again is just about DOA.  So I’ve resolved once more to get it together.  The only way to do it is just START.  Pulling together the technical aspects for the blog is interesting; everything is now prepackaged.  I can barely know what CSS is although back in the dark ages of the early 1990’s, I could do HTML by hand.  Time has certainly marched on.

My writing skills have suffered too although ironically it’s all I do all day as a lawyer.  However that is highly specialized, dry and canned.  I fear the creative part of my brain has atrophied.  Thoughts do not easily flow from my pen (or keyboard now) anymore.  In college, I could pound out short stories fully formed on a typewriter with no editing and still get  “A’s.”   In retrospect, I realize that was pretty damn amazing and should have nurtured that skill.  I was told I had talent, so I dreamed of writing the Great American Novel.   But I went to law school where as Professor Kingsfield said in the Paper Chase,  “you come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer”.  Well, part of that mush contains the spark of creativity needed for the mind to soar.   After over 25 years of thinking inside that legal box, the muscular analytical left side of my brain can hammer you to the ground.  The creative right side needs paddles to keep going.

I realized things had gotten very bad when a year ago I wrote a very short story for the first time in 13 years.  I couldn’t keep it simple; oh no, not me.  It was a complicated little piece of fanfic.  My mind instantly jumped to popping this baby out and it took three days to match words on paper to images in my mind.  It felt like mental labor.  I intended a follow-up story but felt so spent I could not transform a vague idea into a coherent outline.  I asked a blogger who seems to effortlessly write reams every day how she does it.  You know,  the kind who dashes off a post and you think:  “that’s EXACTLY what I was trying to say!”  She said simply, ” write every day and write some more.”

So here I am, writing.

6 thoughts on “Laying the Groundwork

  1. This is a current dilemma of mine. In high school and college, I was a right brainer. Graduate school and professional life forced me to exercise and develop my left brain. People who read the last poems I wrote (in my first year of grad school) were saying that they were starting to have the character of footnotes.A lot of Armitage blogging for me is about recapturing stuff I left behind because I thought I had to. I owe you a longer comment below and hopefully I’ll get to it on the weekend, but for now, bravo, and thanks.

    • Welcome! So you’ll understand when I say it feels I need to piece of myself that got left behind when I entered law school. As a child, I enjoyed writing, drawing and even fashioning clothes for my Barbie dolls out of colored tissue. It saddens me think that creative inner child may be gone.

  2. Yay for blogging! And yay for WordPress! This is a nice theme you’ve picked. Trying to remember if it’s one of the ones I have for my students at work. (If not, it should be.)Looking forward to reading more of what you have to say. 🙂

    • Hey there! This theme is called MistyLook. I’m determined to keep this going and welcome encouragement, read: nagging, to hold my feet to the fire. And yeah, you now have that in writing. 🙂

  3. Hi Judi,

    I decided that I wanted to “get to know you better”, so it seemed logical to my left-brainedness to “start at very beginning”! Gosh, now I’ll hear Julie Andrews singing that song for the rest of the day!

    Like you and Servetus, I was a creative child but was more or less told I had to “leave all that behind” when I became an adult. You know how that is. The righthand side of your brain seems to…..shrivel up….. maybe?

    I can’t remember the last time I wrote creatively or drew anything properly.

    I was a Public Servant working for the Department of Social Security and the Department of Defence (among others) for so long…..before and after marrying and caring for 2 children at home for 7 years.

    I can understand the impact one’s working environment has on one’s lifestyle.

    But now, I’m starting to regain some hope of “finding that inner child again”, thanks to you…. and Servetus and Gratiana and a few other bloggers. I just need more hours in the day to read all these wonderful blogs from the start! I want to get some clues to how I go about changing my life to a more creative and a more productive one….before I get any older!

    Bye for now,

    Kathryn

    • Wow, I feel flattered you want to read my blog from the beginning. If you want to understand creative change, I think I’ve chronicled a lot of that over the past year. it’s a shame how adulthood tends to close off some creative avenues unless you make concerted efforts to preserve them. I think Servetus and I are definitely looking for our inner children, our authentic selves that hold the keys to our creativity. I’m thrilled to have inspired you in some degree to search for yours. It is a rewarding journey.

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