Wednesday, March 18, 2015
"This is a story about love and death in the golden land, and begins with the country." More or less I find myself standing between tradition and trend. I love minimalism but I do enjoy a gimmick. Joan Didion's first line of the first essay in Slouching Towards Bethlehem drew me in immediately. It's a basic start to an interesting story. I appreciated that she didn't overreach. She wasn't trying to make me care about a housewife who kills her husband; she was reporting it. Didion gave it to me straight. "I need inspiration," was what I pleaded to Ariel, and she delivered swiftly with books for inspiration and diffusion of genre.
I've found myself gravitating towards New Journalism in the last five years, so when someone says, "Oh, that's very 'in' now! We need more writers doing it," I shudder. If anything, we have enough, and I'm just another crook in the game, turning profiles and stories--hammered on in media and by the ones who tell them--into essays and articles. Whether or not they could be interesting is another debate entirely. While a follower of trends I may appear to be, I do find it odd that not more of the stories that are out there are told. Not all interesting stories headline in murder. Some just are.
Spring is finally in Seattle, and the cherry blossoms have been blooming--but just as last year, those blooms will fall soon. There is one dried in the back of my journal now. I have kept it close ever since it was sent to me by my parents. It's become my "everyday" thoughts. I feel like Diane from Cheers in that one episode in the beginning--holding a notepad and writing down any blue collar thought that is said while in the bar in Boston. I can't decide yet if I care for the comparison or not.
Point is, I have been writing more. I've made plans of where I want to be published and why. I have essays written, most almost completed. I am exploring, talking, listening. Of course I am writing. But I'm not hoping that I'll land a viral list or short report on Buzzfeed. I'm hoping to make a point with the stories I tell in a place where they might serve a better purpose. When I was in school, I felt as though the world was ahead of me. Now that I'm in the thick of it, grasping at accomplishment, I can only hope whatever accolades I do get add up to something in the end. Even if we've seen that it can all be taken from us in a second.