where do words lead? (a rambling reflection)

I've been thinking about blogging. About reading. About writing. And most of all, words.

I've just realized that I've been blogging for a little over a half year now. Wow. (this both amazes and baffles me).

And I think it's time for a reflection--(if you're wondering: no, this post doesn't have a point, other to ramble. Be warned: spur-of-the-moment poetry and old writings lie ahead). And for the first time in a while I'll be mixing Writing Me with Reading Me on this blog. I made a decision a while ago to not really talk about my writing at all on In Which a Girl Reads. I think it was a sound one; I really like how this blog turned out--completely readercentric. But just for the purposes of this post, I'll include the writing. It's all tangled up with Reading Me and Blogging Me anyhow, and I don't quite have the strength to pick out the knots at the moment.

Yes, writing.

Some of you (*waves at writerly friends*) know that I *attempt* to write novels and poetry. Key word here is attempt. I make no claims to greatness; I'm just any other sixteen year old girl with dreams of publishing a novel someday. There are millions of Mes out there. My dream isn't anything original or special. I share it with a lot of people. Too many, in fact.--it seems like there are would-be writers in every nook and cranny of the interwebs. I don't begrudge them this; this hope to create something.

I'm feeling all poetic right now, so:

Hope and I,
we bend our heads
together into
a silhouette of shattered light.
Warm yellow,
like the
center of an egg yolk.

I have this hope too, and I'm not more entitled to writing a novel than anyone else. If anything, I'm less. But there's no criteria for a writer, other than a love of words. And determination.

Here we go (I can't stop now that I've started):

Let's try again:
the bluegreen horizon

waits so patiently.
The birds
kiss the waves
of the sultry afternoon
and the pages of a dusty yellow-stained book
flutter in the wind.

Ever since I started blogging--ever since this summer, I've fallen in love with words. I liked words before, enjoyed them, but never loved them as I do now. I was always an avid reader. I devoured books. I still do. The writing came later--I began my first novel at twelve, and just finished it this summer. I'm a slow writer, but this doesn't mean my first efforts sucked any less. (they really sucked, if you're wondering.) But all of a sudden I started to write more.

I've abandoned two unfinished novels since August. After sticking with one novel for three years, it feels almost shameful. Fifteen for me will always be the age, the year of abandoning novels. That's basically three in a year (+ a month, but we'll overlook this). But some things are necessary. And I started on a new one this week--and for once, I'm liking how it's going. Sixteen will be the year of finishing something better than I've ever written before. I can feel it.

I wrote my first poem--my first real poem--about a month or two ago. After years of thinking I could never write a poem. I was inspired by the first book of poetry I'd ever read. I've written about twenty poems since then.

Somewhere in between Then and Now, I've changed. Words have become Everything to me when before they were only Something. I blame it at least partly on blogging. I blame everything on the internet.

The internet is the reason I've finally connected with fellow writers. (btw I love you guys if you're reading this). The internet is the reason that I started this book blog gig and that I've finally connected with other readers and people as passionate about books as I am. (I love you guys).

And this book blog has led to several things
1. More reading than ever before
2. A more analytical view of my books; i.e., I think about them to review them.
3. Better reviewing skills.

This is just a simplification of everything this blog has done for me; I'm leaving out the amazing community I've met in the blogosphere, the fun I've had, the essence of blogging. But to view it most clinically, this blog has allowed me to read more, and to write more.

It motivated me to do that whole crazy Literature Week in December. It's an example. Becuase as a result, I've come out of it (slightly scathed) and completely changed. I'm reading as much adult literature as I do YA now. I came into this blog thinking I only liked light fantasies and escapism books; I've now come to realize how powerful literature can be. How ground-breaking, how amazing.

My horizons
have not just expanded,
they've exploded.
And afterwards the skyline
punched me in the face
for lasting impact.
It stings
It meant to bruise:
an infusion of
blackblueviolet colors
like dusk.

It's instilled in me a greater appreciation for authors than I've ever had. For the ones who create something unparalleled. I never used to get so impassioned about books: I loved them before, I was obsessed, I reread some books everyday for a month. But now I want to cry at the beauty in some of them. Now I feel something inside of me when I read a great book that I really think is my literary soul responding to them. That's why I call them Soul Books.

They sing
to my soul.

And I can't even begin to tell you what reading greatness has done to me.

I can feel
the changes
in me.

How can words, simple words, change a person?

I'm skeptical.

You're skeptical.

It's strange.

But I can't look back on the last couple months without seeing a divergence between me before and me now.

It's like a road
splitting down the side.
Framed by an avenue of molting
feather trees.

It's terrifying but wonderful.

Because it's all for the better.

I think maybe this is what passion is.

And what does it mean, to be passionate about something? To think this is something that is worth dedicating your time to? A whole big chunk of time? Your life?

Blogging is just the beginning. And I wonder if I'll still be blogging ten years from now. Blogging hasn't withstood a test of time; no one's been blogging for ten years straight. Blogging didn't even exist ten years ago.

Have I started
something that never ends?

What is it like to be published? To hold a job in the publishing industry? To inhale nothing but words from sunrise to sunset?

Maybe one day I'll have a chance to experience some of those things.

Is it
No. Yes.

I have the rest of my life to tango with words. That's a whole lot of time. I've realized now the only thing I can hope for as a writer is improvement. It takes time. It takes pain and sweat and tears. It's my writing philosophy: to always strive to improve. To be patient and wait until I'm ready--many years from now. It's also, I've realized, my life philosophy. To always be improving.

I don't know anything about the future, but it sure feels wonderful. Scary, almost.

I owe it to you guys.

I owe it to authors that pen beauty that has inspired me.

And the internet.

And to not doing my homework on time.

(Amen to that^)

I sit here not doing my calculus homework and writing this completely rambling (and most likely nonsensical post) at eleven at night. Midnight now.


The words.

And to mash several old writings together:

I write:
for the words tumbling down the rocky path of my throat,
tiptoeing across my roof like lemon drop rain.

For the words as unreachable as charcoal sketches against the milky horizon.

For the paragraphs where I have to dip a ladle into the world and scoop a part of it out. Out of me.

I write for the words that render paintings in the air. Watercolors of vistas, mountains, lakes, roaring together.

What can I say?

I hope this post doesn't weird any of you out. It's sudden. I think I'll revert back to the reading posts from now on. Today is special for some reason, it's an exception.

The random poetry is a result of the time at night (I write at night--but I'm not a sparkly vampire, I assure you). I'm sorry; I won't inflict any of you poor followers anymore.

I lack the better judgment to edit it out. To not post this.

Thanks for hanging in there and reading this :)



Amie McCracken said...

1. Your poetry is beautiful.
2. I don't think I had nearly that much insight when I was 16.
3. It would be absolutely lovely to 'inhale nothing but words from sunrise to sunset.'

Jeanne C. said...

Just beautiful.

Angie said...

Wonderful post. Your poetry is awesome, but I've thought this before. Keep blogging - you've got something good here. :)

Amna said...

I get goosebumps when I read your work.
You, my friend, will be the one everyone is talking about and is forced to study in English literature class.

I can feel it.

StephTheBookworm said...

Beautiful poetry.

Allie said...

Beautiful post.

I have found that the more I read, the more I fall in love with writing as well. Reading is inspiration. :)

Anonymous said...

Your poetry is quite lovely. I can't wait to see where these new ideas take you! You definitely have talent ... maybe there are a million people like you, but there's definitely only one YOU, so take your gift and run with it!

Anonymous said...

I luuuurve your writing and your poems. I really do. It makes me drool. *happy sigh*

Yes, I do believe books can change people. That's what I want to do, I want to write stuff that literally changes people's lives. *happy sigh the second*

Awesome post! I do love meself some rambling now and then :D This has got to be my favorite blog ever. True.

Emilia Plater said...

You... and your gorgeous writing. What did I tell you about giving up?!?! If you ever do give up, I will feel personally responsible, and the world will have lost a very awesome girl and future (current) literary genius.

Becca Cooper said...

I second that amen to not finishing homework on time! Writing and reading are SO much more fun. ;)

Anyway, lovely post!

in which a girl reads said...

@Annie: Thank you so much. And I think it would be very lovely; I hope somehow I'll be able to do that :)

@Jeanne: Thanks :)

@Angie: Thanks! And I love blogging, so hopefully I won't ever stop.

@Amna: First of all, I'M supposed to be the one who gets goosebumps from YOUR writing So.
And it feels weird to be saying this, but having some kid do a book project/essay on my book would practically MAKE MY LIFE. Ahahaha. I guess I can dream :)

@Steph: Thank you!

@Allie: "Reading is inspiration." That's so beautiful and true :)

@Kirsten: Thank you! And I'm definitely running with it--hopefully I'll arrive where I'm heading sometime :)

@Maenad: You're too kind! And I admire you for wanting to change people with your books. It's something I hope to do too.

@Emilia: You are MADE of awesome. And I really can't thank you enough for telling me not to give up when I needed it most. And thanks :)

@Becca: Haha. It seems to be a chronic problem of mine. I am currently not doing homework, as I should be. I just want to read a book right now but I have animal phylums to memorize instead. ;_;

Misty said...

This was really great, thanks for linking it up. Alright, you have to take this for what it is, coming from the girl who never finished anything, but stop abandoning your writing. Even if you don't like how it's going, get it all out. You may just have hit a snag, but either way, you can't fix it and make it better if there's nothing there to fix. Part of revision should be cutting away the crap, so even if you don't love it, don't let it hang you up. And don't get stuck on it or dwell, either. You're 16; it doesn't have to be perfect, but the more you practice, the better it will get and the more you'll find your voice and know what it is you want to write and how you want to finish it.
Do you ever try to write short stories, just for the practice and to be able to finish it? It might be a good exercise.
Okay, proselytizing over.

Sumayyah said...

Oh. My. God. I think I just died from the beauty of the last few paragraphs. I <3 you so much, Choco, you don't even know! And I couldn't have said anything that you just said any better. :)

Bidisha said...

You gave me goosebumps. You made everything stop for a while. You made me ponder.

I <3 you, Choco. You rock.
Enough said.

Vee said...

You ARE AMAZING. And thank god you didn't edit all of that beautiful poetry out! It's bloody amazing (I used bloody cause I know you like that word, but can't use it ;)).

And. And. And. We are such Book Twins. I feel as if I've fallen in love with words over the past two years, too. I feel as if I've developed an appreciation for literary that I never had before. And poetry, too.

I agree with Amna. One day kids are going to be studying you in English class, and they're going to LOVE your stuff :D

Sandy said...

Amen to not doing homework. :)

Every time you come up with a new post, I fall in love with your words, Choco. They're so full of power and genuine emotion that it's absolutely beautiful. NEVER stop writing-you've got the gift, sister. Just keep on writing<3

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