I awake from my dream….It was a younger version of me with long, brunette hair and soft, smooth skin. I was wearing an orange chiffon, sleeveless dress and very high heels. The night was dark, and the rain beat against my bare skin, my flimsy dress hugging my body. …I tried to fall back to sleep, to continue the dream, but could not. So I got out of my warm bed and sat at my computer and transcribed the notes. Could this be the beginning of a short story, a murder mystery with a wealthy, well-connected debutante as the main character? Better still, a novel about an aging model recalling her lost youth.
Why am I sitting at my computer instead of sleeping? Because now I am a writer.
I have been told that dreams do not make a writer, that an absolute compulsion to write is required, together with the discipline to sit down and actually do the work. And it would seem that few potential writers get beyond the starting point.
I admit that I spend more time reading than I do writing because the former is so enjoyable and effortless. I dream of writing very day, but when I turn my computer on and inspiration fails me, I Goggle every topic I can think of until my allotted writing time expires. Solitaire is another time waster. …
I’m not sure when writing became part of my life’s quest; to break the loneliness of dreams; to connect with others; to affirm life and transform it into art. Who can say? I can try, but you the reader, will be the judge of it.
Alas, fate is cruel. It’s a wishful dream as I try to be a writer taking Creative Writing courses. Try as hard as I may, but holding a pencil to write a story is tantamount to holding a 50-pound bag of rice over my head.
When I write a story with the same kind of sentence structure, “Subject – verb – object,” the readers become bored. If I start every sentence with the same wordings, the readers just glaze over and become disengaged. I can never compete with the Encyclopedias if I try to explain every term I used in my story. Where can I cast the hook to string the readers along? Do I have to fire the Chekhov’s Gun as soon as I hang it on the wall?
My eyelids are growing heavy, the same as the pencil in my hand. Waking from my doze, the sweet dream of being a writer dissipated as dew in the morning sun.
Min L. L.
(This last by a woman whose second language is English. She has fascinated the class and me with her stories of her youth in China during WWII. Yet she express (in beautiful language) that her dream has dissipated.
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