On Writing Nonfiction

First order of business, Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” because it’s still February and frankly February is just cheesy romantic oldies month.

Today is the day I can finally catch up with all my writing projects. Deadlines, I’m telling you. You could say that some people need boot camp or a good beating. Me? I need deadlines. Wanting to write is one thing, but that’s about as useful as wanting to listen to music and not picking a damn station on the radio (yes, I still listen to AM/FM radio OUTSIDE of a car). Deadlines in writing really force you to put yourself together and produce something meaningful.

Having not written fiction for months, it actually feels great. I love fiction, and the imagination running riot and endless with whatever craziness comes to mind– let alone making all of it meaning something. but, I’ve felt I’ve written enough for the time being. I want to expand my talent, and see what limits I can break with something I feel so strongly devoted to.

This means trying out nonfiction and poetry. Nonfiction is proving to be magic, because half the work feels done already in that the source material isn’t fresh, but it is me, and from my life directly. they are experiences that are relevant and make some sense of life which no one understands, let alone in my own. The reflection is my tool for how I want to present that memory or thought, and for some reason the final draft feels right because only I know what that first concert, the pink doughnut box, and fall in San Francisco really is and was like. I like how nonfiction is more available for the reader because they know that this is a true event in the real world. In this way, I feel that channeling creative writing for nonfiction, from an essay to a blog post or a contribution to a magazine, will undoubtedly be very useful for my variety of writing.

And so will poetry. It’s not my favorite of the three aspects of literary writing, but so far it’s becoming a work in progress. I know my style in poems and what I want to achieve, and idyllically being blunt and constricted works in my favor. I always dread going over the top with poems. you put too much heart into a poem, you water down the passion and duende of it. having to really use my imagination to evoke reader emotion by so little but powerful imagery and form makes for a simpler but more enjoyable–and complicated– experience in poetry. that’s always an issue the reader suffers: that big gap between the poet’s intent and the tone the reader takes from it. it’s been my anxiety, too. breaking this barrier really motivates my poetry but I definitely do not forget to make it aesthetically enjoyable for my readers.

All in all it’s all about imagery. Always.

A bit redundant, but show and tell does a lot for your work. Even outside of a short story (which doesn’t always have to be show, i find).

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