Saturday, January 14

Chapter 42:

In Which Josh Ran Across An Entry In One of His College Creative Writing Journals from Spring of 2004, and Decided to Share It With You

Josh’s Journal: a hastily scribbled mind transcribed

It’s been a while since I really felt the gumption to write in this journal, because so much has been going on I haven’t had time to stop and organize or schedule life as I have been doing: get up in the morning, go to class, eat dinner, do homework, write, go to sleep; and instead am consigned to do what is necessary: eat dinner, do homework, go to class, repeat process.
I find that a journal -- especially now that we are done writing stories for class, and are only casually going over poetry for the sake of covering it -- is a hindrance to my creativity, because I don’t feel like writing anything because I am forced to write for classes (e.g., this week I had a 3,5, and 10 page paper due Tuesday, and am now sick of words).

I find that the journal, as such -- even just using the name "journal" -- is a hindrance to my creativity which, through training over the years, has been trained, at a moment’s notice almost, to give me writer’s block when I have to keep a journal. My writing process involves thinking up an idea, writing it out, re-reading it and editing, then, more often than not, saving it on my computer where it sits and rots. If writing for a class, I skip the rotting part, and hand it to someone else to mark up and hand back so I can decipher their handwriting and finally realize they were writing in an ancient, unused Chinese dialect transcribed in either Greek or runic symbols.

The point being: I don’t "journal." IN fact, I mistrust any guy who seriously "journals" just because it means he is unable to process his own thoughts in his head and has to put them down for his grandchildren to be embarrassed about when they find it after his death some forty-five years and two published novels later.

The main story ideas I have had over the last three weeks is based on the stories found in German song cycles, which use a basic plot. In the first song of the cycle, a girl is sitting with her sheep on a hillside and is lonely, but enjoying the nice, fresh air scented by sheep-droppings. She then sees, afar off - so far in fact, that she can’t exactly make out what it is -- a moving speck on the horizon, who she knows to be her love, coming for her, but it turns out to be another sheep. The second song in the cycle is all about the sheep dancing in the meadows, and how they are like chickens on the hillside, because it probably rhymes in German; then some large creature comes and eats all the sheep and the girl. The third song in the cycle is of the little shepherd boy who finds the wild beast - possibly a giant, man-eating gerbil, or a small duck - and kills it with his little bow and arrow, thereby releasing the girl from the beast’s entrails. The last song is the lament of the little boy that he didn’t get there before the girl had been eaten, and how the prairie is still beautiful and still smells of her hair... and sheep-droppings. My story would run a little different: the sheep would be rabbits, there would be no shepherd girl, and the large beast would probably be a trial attorney for the IRS.


At 3:28 PM, Blogger Justin said...

I'm so going to have to write a song-cyle like that. Although it sounds more like the first act of a Wagner opera.
I forgot I had an account on here.

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Annabelle said...

(This is from Annabelle)

Wow. We're so opposite.

Journaling is my creative hype. I think because I have been journaling since I was 6. Moreso because I journal in creative ways. Some days I mimmick Jane Austin. Some days I write my journals entires as plays. Some days I write them as future science-fiction kill-all-aliens-at-any-cost writing.

But journaling for me ... was freedom. Writing down exactly what people said brought joy to me. (I'm sad I've gotten so bad at remembering exactly what people say lately.)

Then again. I was the person who kept four journals at one time. (2 online, 1 tape or verbal diary and 1 written.)

Why does a writer write: because it isn't there. My journals, sadly, are not just my life. They are my friends as well. They are politics, what is happening in everyday life around America.

But then again...

I want to write memoria (err.. memoria? ... ) err... gosh. The letters are jumping in my head. One second: memoirs! There is is...

I want to write memoirs-style. It is where my writing is most natural. And my sentences strongest. It is also where I have practiced writing the most.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Elwood said...


Okay, this was from my last creative writing class at Simpson... just in case you were all wondering.

Since this time, I have been keeping up my on-line journal almost constantly every day (just about) for the last two years.

A few things have changed since then:
1) I tend to think things out by writing them down BETTER than doing it in my head.
2) I am not in a male-oppresive, female-dominated, femenazi-controlled classroom environment.
3) I assigned my creative writing class to keep a journal, knowing how helpful, overall, it was to me... however, it didn't work with them.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Annabelle said...

Some people are not bloggers... some people are not poets. Some are not sonnet writers. Some are not memoir writers. Some are not play writers. Some are not short-story writers.

Everyone has their own writing nitch. It can be worked on and perfected, but it comes to them more naturally.


Post a Comment

<< Home