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 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 ob–sessed 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.