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on doubt, inspiration, and doing better.

writing has been…slow going. ever since graduation, all those stories that had been bubbling up and demanding attention i couldn’t give them have kind of disapated. i mean, there’s been one, two ticking about but not anything terribly urgent. back in 2012, i wrote a novel in five months. granted, it’s been in editing since then but it was that story. it begged to be written. i even got a tattoo to commemorate it.

  (a red ace – not a heart)

a few weeks ago, my mind traveled back to that original story. what do i do with it? is it the same story i want to tell? what do i want to keep? change? (hey, if stephenie meyer can genderbend twilight, why can’t i?) can i make it better? can i do better?

concurrently, nikki lorenzo’s a capella mash-up of nina simone’s and the beatles’ “blackbird”s keeps springing up in the back of my thoughts. especially the juxtaposition of the lyrics “why you wanna fly / blackbird / you ain’t ever gonna fly / so blackbird fly”. a few posts back, i called it the musical embodiment of doubt, a feeling i’m well-versed with. the song was brought back to mind when an overly talkative customer told me not to listen to doubt. i responded that doubt can be a good thing because it helps me solidify what i’m doing. if i question myself, i give pause to make sure i’m doing something for the right reasons.

to further drive things home, i have been obsessed with lin-manuel miranda’s broadway musical hamilton. the act i finale song “non-stop” has the line “how do you write like you’re running out of time / how do you write like you need it to survive / how do you write every second you’re alive”, which is, like, damn. yaaas, how do i get on that level? how do i match alexander hamilton’s zeal for the written word?

i realized it’s not just the musical i’m fascinated with. it’s the playright/composer/lyricst/actor miranda. he took a book he saw as vacation reading and made it a sold-out, acclaimed musical breaking records and boundaries. how fucking mind-blowing is that? everyone i talk to cannot escape my telling them to look into hamilton. people i work with, friends, family members… everyone. it feels like not only a catalyst but a bookend of an era, really.

about ten years ago, i watched the film thirteen, co-written by nikki reed. as an out of sorts teenager, i didn’t know what the hell writing meant to me. i knew i loved reading and was interested in telling my own stories. i knew i was excelling  in my english/language arts classes and i never complained about the papers we’d get assigned. ever. but what the hell did i, as a fourteen year old girl, have to offer to the world? what the hell kind of story could i tell?

and then i watched thirteen. and saw what the film did, the conversations it opened. yet for me…i received confirmation. what i feel and what i think is completely valid and my age doesn’t discredit any of it. if there is one person i give credit to for why i took my writing seriously – it’s nikki reed.

and now i’ve got lin-manuel miranda (and by proxy, the ten dollar founding father without a father, alexander hamilton). and with twenty-five finally in full effect, it’s time i take myself seriously. what’s the point of doubt if i don’t put it to work? know better, do better, right?

now that i’m officially finished with college (i got my bachelor’s of arts in the mail this past week), i am a full-fledged adult. like, i know i have been for years but now i feel like it…? well, at least now i can fully enjoy my twenties. who cares that it’s half over.

time to take advantage of the next five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes and then some.

   

1 thought on “on doubt, inspiration, and doing better.”

  1. LOVE the new tattoo! Selah, doubt is the worst, but you’re right, it’s necessary. The validation you put into these words here is proof that we all experience crippling moments of it, but to let it define us and keep us down is letting it win. I’m in the middle of working on a post–my first in a long time–and it delves into similar themes. 25 is a huge step and I know you’ll attack it with fists of fury. Happy Belated Birthday!!! You deserve every ounce of goodness this world has to offer.

    Like

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