Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Thing I Want

I don't mean to sound prideful when I say this, but I'm good at a lot of things. Not excellent, not spectacular, but good. I can sing quite well. I play the piano well enough to enjoy it. I can sketch okay. I'm a good student. I think I'm a decent writer. I'm quite gifted at languages.

The problem with being good at many things and enjoying those many things is trying to dedicate time to improving them. Some activities are going to get neglected. 

I have a difficult time deciding what I want.  There are many things I'd kind of like to have or do, but it's easier to know what I don't want than what I really want.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this a couple times here before.

Well, I've figured out something I want.

I want to write.

The problem is i have to have certain conditions just right in order to write. I have to be in a place where I can be relatively free from distractions. I have to have a decent chunk of time, as it can take me a bit to get started. I also have to be pretty inspired to get going. 

Ideally, I would have a private space of my own and two to three hours in the morning to dedicate to writing. I'm in a one bedroom apartment in Korea and I've traditionally been a night person. So private space is at a premium and waking up early is a difficult task.

I have writer friends who can write directly into a computer while watching a movie or the television. I can't do that. Movies or TV will sometimes spark an idea, but I can't focus enough to develop the idea while the TV is going. I also have to write my ideas out by hand before I can type them, but I actually enjoy that part and wouldn't change it.

I love the revision process. I love going over something I've written and finding weak words and phrases and making them stronger. Revision is something i can do while listening to music. I still can't watch TV, though, but that's okay by me. I get too into the revision to watch TV.

My revision process is probably not as efficient as it could be, but it works for me. The first revision is the process of typing what I've written into a word processor. This allows me to catch small problems and see what I've written with new eyes. After typing, I print out a copy. After a couple days, I will read the printed copy and make changes right on the page. After two or three readings, I will type the changes into the computer, then print another copy. I'll repeat this process a couple times. I don't know that I get to a point where I feel the piece is great, but I reach a point where I feel I can't make it any better.

What I would like to have is a group of people I could count on to read my piece and give me feedback. Fresh eyes will catch problems I'm blind to as the originator of the piece. Unfortunately, the people I've approached before to read haven't been good at leaving comments or suggestions. And yes, I'm halfway around the world from my friends from the creative writing classes I took, but I use Google Docs, so distance is not an excuse.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing is that it helps me process what I'm thinking about. It helps me figure myself out. In a way, writing is extremely relaxing. Part of the benefit is that when I'm writing I can focus on the words and forget about the other things that I'm worrying or stressing about.

What do I want? 

I want to write.

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