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Beginnings And Endings

February 25, 2013

I’m sitting here now thinking of my writing ability–or lack thereof and I’m pondering how I’m really good at making a strong beginning and a strong ending, but the middle bits are where I lose focus. I guess it’s because the middle is always the toughest; I don’t know what to do or what to say and I worry that it’ll all sound so stupid in the end. See, I’ve always been really good at the beginnings and endings in my life as well but really crap with the middle. In middle school I nearly had to repeat the 8th grade because somewhere between my strong 6th year I kind of lost the plot and it stayed lost until my second 9th grade year–yeah, I said second. I had to repeat my 9th grade year because of my fuckititis–I just didn’t care and I still have no clue what happened there, but I finished my 12th grade year strongly and even got the hug I always dreamed about. Yeah, the hug from a crush.

Then I lost the plot again when I was going to start college in the fall of 02 and I…lost it again when it was time to move on. What does that have to do with anything? Well, in writing like in life you get as much out of it as you put in. If you’re going to be a lazy shit then your story is going to suck. I also think it takes a measure of being able to put yourself out there for the world to see and in my case I was kind of good at it. So I didn’t have much to fear except sucking and sucking is what I was always good at. Being the cool guy and the life of the party were never my things, but sure enough if you wanted me to screw up then I was your man.

Where does this leave me? Well, I’ve had a novel kicking around in my head for a long time, but I haven’t gotten around to it because I’ve been really unfocused. I see this story playing out in my head every time I’m in the shower or when I’m doing something that clears my head, but to hell if I can remember it by the time I decide to get around to writing it. I guess the challenge here isn’t so much the beginning or ending, but the ability to even start. And that’s a bigger challenge when the last time you started was years ago and all the gas and water have since separated and you sputter along for a start (car metaphors, chicks dig car metaphors). Meanwhile the engine barely responds as well so you’re left with a rust bucket of a car and no ability to get anywhere. What to do then?

I guess you could take it to a mechanic, but writing ability is nothing like a car. There’s no quick fixes and no hose lines or alternators or oils that can be changed. The best you can do is try to write and try not to hit that inevitable wall and if you do make sure you’ve knocked enough bricks loose to be able to break free from that wall (yeah, I’m all over with the visuals today). Now I’m thinking of Forrest Gump and his box of chocolates metaphor, but for me life is a series of walls that I’m constantly charging at in some vain hope of breaking through them some day to reach the other side.

I attribute all of this inability to start or begin to a lack of discipline and at one point I had it, but have since lost it. I think that’s why I like my blagh so much, because it gives me that sort of discipline on a smaller level that seems manageable. I guess this whole thing is my wake-up call, though, that I need to regain some amount of who I used to be in order to progress forward to my strong ending. Yes, the beginnings and ends are more fun, but it’s the middle slice that ultimately determines how things will turn out and will be the record of your life and who you are–even if you’ve never wanted to write a novel in your life.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2013 3:16 pm

    I too have trouble with the middle. But, I just fill it up and figure I can cut or add later. I’m working on a short story right now that I have a great beginning and a great ending. Once I started on the middle, the damn thing seems to be taking on a life of it’s own. Now, my middle is becoming better than the beginning or the end. I guess I’ll let the middle dictate my new ones.

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