Swamp Flowers

I’m swamped: Papers. Applications. Emails. Oral drills. Worksheets. Briusov. Blok. Akhmatova. Geothe. Flaubert. Hong Lou Meng. Saikaku. Higuchi. 

And then I have these bursts of ideas for fiction, flowers in the midst of the muck. But I am sorry flowers, I do not have time to tend to you. You’ll just have to do your best in the mud.

But wait, is that not where you bloom best, dear lily? Even while I struggle to find time to even imagine fiction, you grow in the dark, and take root in the muck of my life. 

Or maybe I am just making excuses for why I have no time to write fiction. 

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I’ve been making sure I take time to write recently. Sometimes I stumble because I’m not sure if anyone will like what I write. But what’s most important is that I like what I write. The novel I’m working on has started to take on the shape of a collection of stories. There will be characters that appear in multiple stories, but there is not one character the story surrounds. Instead, the story traces a movement, or a history. 

And so I’ve been working on my story character by character. I’ve been writing for a character as I have inspiration for them. I’ve also been forcing myself to go into more depth, more interactions with other characters. My weak point with writing has always been characters, because I don’t really know them. But that’s because most of my writing has been in my head, and most of it has been world building. But I’ve found that as I create situations and write dialogues, that the characters come to life before me. 

And so I’ve been writing scenes for each character, and it’s been really fun. Maybe I’ll post some more original fiction soon. But for now I’m going to keep writing, just keep on writing. I may not keep what I write today, but the practice is what’s important. And as I write and my story morphs into what it is going to be, I will have a better and better picture of who my characters are. And so I will keep writing.