What I Learned in the Wilderness
March 21, 2013Posted by on
I’ll be posting twice a week – Thursdays and Mondays. Sometimes I’ll miss a day, university and all that…but I’ll save that ramble for another post (because, honestly, it’s quite frustrating).
You all know I spent about two months without an internet connection. Though it may seem frightening, unimaginable even, it was quite…refreshing.
I always spend a couple of seconds wondering where I am when I wake up. It’s true, I even have a witness to confirm it. I don’t mind it really, I’ve spent much of my life trying to live inside a dream anyway. So, after waking up slightly confused and groggy, I drink a giant mug of coffee while staring at the shiny colours of a meaningless tv show or a not even mildly amusing website. Of course, this slows me down in a way – I’d never felt really alert during those mornings. Now, in the Wilderness this ritual was no longer possible, so I decided to read a novel or a couple of short stories. Despite it being hell for my eyes (my books are pdfs), it was both enjoyable and useful.
Instead of numbing myself with trash (or news for that matter), my mind was active and stimulated and for the rest of the day my writerly senses were heightened. Sentence structure, characterization and whatever hides behind the words – all of it was much clearer and the challenge of the blank page was not as frightening.
The Internetlessness shattered my awful habit of procrastinating online. (I did however spend a couple of hours a week in a corner of a cafe downloading books or visiting magazines, just to see what’s going on in the fiction world. )
Unfortunately, I did not write much during the no-internet period. I rambled about the mental exhaustion after studying (I’m avoiding to open a textbook right now…and I really should), and several tragic things happened during February. This triggered some mental illness related issues and I began to question the reasons why in the bloody hell am I trying to study journalism in the first place.
I wrote Apples (which is too cluttered and clumsy) and a couple of vignettes. I wrote and rewrote one story entitled Ravenwood, but I couldn’t make it work. Ravenwood was actually a response to Dark Fiction‘s call for submissions. The basis of the story was supposed to be a part of folklore. I chose changelings – elf children who are secretly left in the place of a human child. I had a place for the story, but no characters.
So I forced them in the story. Need I say it didn’t work? Then I changed the point of view from the “hero” to the “villain.” It didn’t work – I wrote myself into a cliché. Then I thought the story didn’t begin where it was supposed to. Then I thought okay, maybe this is not a short story.
I still don’t know what to do with it. It’s taped to my closet, waiting. Maybe I should change the concept itself. Or maybe it didn’t work because I started to write it “on demand.”
Or maybe I’m not yet ready for Ravenwood.