Today, I Feel Like A Sponge

March 24, 2012

Have you ever been frustrated when you were trying to learn something new? 

I remember trying to ride a bike with no training wheels. It was so hard. Months of effort had to be put into this whole ordeal. I fell. I scrapped my knees. My wrists were in shreds. Even my sweet and new Jammers helmet was all scuffed. (The stickers were starting to fall off! The humanity!)

I wanted to give up but my sense of “I need to ride a two wheel bike before older kids see me” kicked in. My young little ego kept me working toward my goal.

No surprise here, I reached my goal.

But I remember right after I started riding (like a pro) that I felt like I felt the process of riding the bike was become much more smooth. Much more practiced.

Better.

Today I feel like that a little in terms of my writing. I think some things are starting to click. (Mostly my ability to come up with a story in a short amount of time and leave things open ended so I can continue them later or have the reader fill in the blanks.)

I feel like a sponge that has been set under a faucet. The faucet is dripping slowly and the sponge is absorbing those drops. With time though, the sponge will become too full of water and some will leak out. That’s what I feel is happening. Some of the things I’ve been learning are finally leaking out into my work.

I know you can’t see all that. Not yet at least. But it’s coming.

It’s mostly because I have been having some discussions with some friends and working on stories of theirs. They will give me some of the characters and environments and I just blurt out a pretty detailed story sequence. Generally speaking they seem impressed. I can see an entire story in detail in a matter of a few minutes. Even if it’s not my own.

Now, I am still trying to figure out the best way to put these ideas onto paper in a way that’s solid. It’s not easy.

I’m not good at making words pretty. I can’t show the reader an environment how I would expect to be able to. I also can’t keep things too serious. This may work for some silly stories…but what about those deep and meaningful stories we all hope to write that will change the world one day?

For example:

A very good writer would write about a date in a way like this:

Her face was caressed by the setting sun on the horizon. The oranges and pinks mixed in with her chestnut hair and cheerful cheeks. Their eyes met with with a silent recognition. Things were just right.  After getting lost in each other’s gaze they looked out over the lake and took in what they would forever remember as “that perfect day”.

I, on the other hand, would write about a sunset like this:

The sun was red. Very red. It was setting after all. It was so pretty John almost forgot to look back at Rebecca, his blind date for the evening.  As he turned to look at her dazzling eyes he became so distracted by her sheer beauty that he failed to see the banana peel next to the garbage can on the path.

Two slipped discs and a hefty chiropractor bill later, he remembered that he hadn’t gotten her number that night.

“It could have been worse.” he thought to himself. “It could have been a pile of dog crap.”

You see? I always go for the punch line. I don’t know if I can do anything serious. Even when I’m trying to point out how I don’t use pretty language very well I still go for a joke. But I’ll keep trying. Maybe one day it’ll stick.

Until then, I’ll just keep sopping up those drops of good writing I see all around me. Maybe some of the good stuff will leak out from time to time and I’ll share it with you all.

Happy Saturday,

D.A.

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6 Responses to “Today, I Feel Like A Sponge”

  1. Alba Says:

    If the first example is good writing, I think I prefer your “bad” writing. Just saying.

  2. karmicangel Says:

    Lol, I’m with Alba. I prefer the one where the hefty chiro bill comes into play.


  3. You write deep and meaningful posts, don’t you? I’m thinking of your recent Martin Luther-style proclamation about church signs. And the post you wrote about your friend’s late mom was terrific. Be yourself when you write–funny and deep and charming and sincere. It’ll be great.

    Have you thought about nailing your church sign piece to a church door? Could lead to a whole new denomination. The Bancroftians…..

  4. Frank Bishop Says:

    Funny, you have seemed to beat me to a post I was writing for tomorrow.

    *Squints eyes* Bancroft……

  5. geekgirlat40 Says:

    Glad to hear things are “leaking through” into your writing. That IS a good feeling.

    As for the “comparative writing” portion of this post – I found the first option rather pretentious. Yours was more true to life – to what really happens. Reminded me a bit of how Douglas Adams wrote – absurb things happen and there is always the POTENTIAL for a perfect moment that is marred…usually by dog crap.


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