Over the past year, before starting blogging and rekindling piano, my ‘new’ challenge was writing. More at the suggestion of my husband than out of my own burning desire to write, but it seemed a worthy exploration since I love reading so much. To that end, I have taken a few workshop classes at a wonderful Denver writers’ community, Lighthouse. It’s serious instruction, feedback, and cultural interchange, and a lot of very talented writers partake. I would not consider myself one of them. But, I’ve committed to give the writing thing a dedicated try, even though I don’t feel like I have a gripping story just waiting to be told. However, fiction is wearing me down – there is a unassailable gulf between the drivel I produce and the writers I admire (as well as, I have to admit, even the writers I don’t admire – they still have gallons more talent, dedication and skill than me). And the workshop course in which I was interested for next session (the last before the three-month summer break) was full. So, I have done the unthinkable (for me). I have signed up for a poetry workshop. I have never really been drawn to poetry, but in my first “what-do-you-want-to-write” course at Lighthouse, this was one of the genres we played around with. It’s actually quite fun. The music of words is a goal in itself, and I think that any great writer wants more expressive words. I think poetry can help shape all that and I’m looking forward to it. Still, I have a (silly) preconception that Poets, with a capital P, are not my type of people. And that they will all be Serious. or Dreamy. and they will DECONSTRUCT everything. I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong (I hope so), and even if not, these are probably lessons well worth learning if one wants to express oneself elegantly.
However, I suspect that part of me is glad of the genre change because it’s what I do. I engage my fleeting interests in a topic, dabble, and then cut and run. My list of failures and quits is impressive: (1) college piano course – just stopped going (try explaining a 1 credit-hour F to your parents in a subject you’ve been studying since you were 5 years old); (2) pottery – hand-shaping was fine but the wheel drove me away for good; (3) introductory Chinese – I don’t even think I made it through 4 classes; (4) French classes – I did take several sessions but hated the summer “conversation” course to which I was reassigned when not enough students signed up for the next course, so I just stopped going and never went back. I’m sure there are more examples that my subconscious has buried. Even after 6 weeks, my newly-refound piano lessons are losing their lustre because practice is really hard and it’s so easy to find something else to do. The unifying point is that I have absolutely no capacity for seriously hard work. I think that writing is about to succumb to my flightiness. While I did revise the first story I submitted (and I admit, it turned out much better), I have no interest in revising the stories I submitted for my class this session. Maybe I’m just busy with work, but I see the old spectre lurking in the wings waiting to claim this interest as well. So, while I try to convince myself that I am continuing on with writing, just exploring a different genre, part of me doesn’t trust my story.
Do you all have similar failings in yourself that you recognize but don’t conquer?