Note: There’s this fan community I recently joined that hosts an annual writing contest called Project Ink. I applied, surprisingly got accepted, and made it to the second-to-the-last round. Each of the bi-weekly rounds had the participants write short stories following prompts. I had the choice to build a new world with each new round, but I didn’t. Instead, I built the Cecilia Canon – a series of stories about this woman named Cecilia, her daughter Claudia, and her unnamed mother who all look like Eva Green.
As I’ve mentioned a while back, I didn’t make it to the final round. We – the participants of Project Ink – actually got feedback from the contest judges and from random fellow forum users who felt like commenting on our work. Their consensus on my piece about Iris was that it’s deliciously subtle (a pun on the apple pies that keep popping up throughout the story) but that it isn’t a standalone. If you haven’t read the rest of the Cecilia Canon, it isn’t as compelling. That makes sense to me, so I’m not too bummed out that I didn’t make it to Round 6. In fact, I expected to get eliminated in the earlier rounds HAHA.
I’ve thought of many ways to close the Cecilia Canon. Some versions involved Cecilia and Nick getting back together, one of them dying via an incurable disease, and Claudia getting romantic prospects. I will probably never write this conclusion though. It will always just be a distant possibility – unless I feel like doing a J.K. Rowling, which isn’t going to happen soon.
So that’s it. That’s all of it.
Joining this particular writing competition made me better understand my relationship with writing. I came to accept that I’m not a writer. As a child, yes, I desperately wished to be a mega!writing super!star but that dream dissolved as I grew up. Now I write simply because I feel sick when I don’t.
And I’ve been around enough writers and artists to know that I’m not one of them. I don’t dream of changing the world through my words and encapsulating the beauty of life through my prose. I just want to write and to keep writing. I have a passion for words, yes, but I’m not the type to romanticize the writing profession. I’ll never be a writer, but I’ll keep writing.
Aside from this realization, I also figured out that what I demand from a piece of work isn’t beauty, drama, or originality. It’s sincerity. For the same reason that arthouse movies fascinate me, I like written stories that feel like the writer gave an irrevocable part of their soul to their work. I like writing that reeks of a writer’s tears, blood, and experiences. Technical skill is beautiful and impressive in and of itself. But the ability to preserve a bit of who you are into words and stories that hopefully will outlive you – that’s something else.
The title of this soliloquy came to be because I realized, via Project Ink, that writing is probably the one activity I will never be able to eliminate from my life. So I’ve resolved to take writing a bit more seriously. HAHAHA.
That’s all I wanted to say, really.