Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On rediscovering the creative side of writing

"I miss reading your 'books'."

That single comment on my last blog entry brought back a whole lot of memories. It was then that I remembered that I used to write poetry. And those 'books' were love stories hand-written in Cattleya fillers using a mechanical pencil, which meant that the side of my right hand was almost always tainted with lead. In college, I wrote "moment stories", which were super-short pieces that highlighted a single moment in time.

And then work happened. Even if my work in PR required a whole lot of writing, and even if I'm making a living now as a freelance writer-slash-content creator in digital advertising, I realized that these types of writing have always required a brief. It has always been writing housed within a specific framework, required a specific structure, conveyed a specific message. For more than a decade, I have been writing according to the dictates of others-- clients, editors, brand identities. Somewhere along the way, in my quest to be a writer, I had forgotten an entirely different side of the coin.

The writer as a creator.

Now, I've started writing a love story, just like old times. I'd forgotten how exciting it can be to flesh out characters and think of where to bring their story. I've always been drawn to the story of best friends falling in love and to all the exhilaration that comes with a first love, that I've decided to try writing one again. Only this time, armed with all the wisdom I know about love. No third parties, no crazy plot twists, no unnecessary characters. Just a girl, a boy, and a whole mess of feelings that come into play when you try to decide if falling in love is worth risking a friendship, as you try to discover if it's indeed possible to be both best friends and lovers.

Even if I spend most of my day creating content and working within briefs and frameworks, I find myself turning on my computer every night to nurture these characters who I think about while I'm on the treadmill or in the shower. It's been a long time since I've felt this way, and I'm just excited to see where this will go.