Sunday, 29 April 2012

Writing Life: Keeping the Pandora Box Ajar

See, this is what has been puzzling me over the last couple of weeks.  I recently have joined - against my initial fear perhaps ? - a writing class. There are only two Black people in there - myself and this other woman. Initially, I thought that she was going to be 'standoffish'. Because you know sometimes, when we, as a people gather collectively under other people's gazes, we tend to blank out people who look like us and gravitate towards people who don't look like us. I think you understand where I am coming from! Anyway, suffice to say, and based on my own faulty assumptions (!) she has turned out to be a really warm woman. There is something about her spirit which is really nurturing.

So anyway, I started this class, which is about memoir life writing. I'm only on week two, but I've learnt so much already. I know that a lot will probably expose some still opening wounds for me; but I know that through my writing and my journey of creating and putting my novel together, it will help me to ultimately heal. And that is what I want out of all of this.

During the first week, we had to do this exercise in how we saw ourselves as writers. It was a visualisation exercise, where we had to see where we see ourselves now, and how we see ourselves in the future. This was by doing two separate drawings. I found it interesting that the whole of the class immediately tapped into my visualisation straight away. They got it totally, even though our backgrounds are so apart from each other. The irony!

I completed my homework for that first week, and we had to write a 'close' version of our birth/childhood and only write 2 A4 sides maximum. I wrote about my twin and I. It was cathartic. I read it for the class. They loved the way that I wrote this short piece and encouraged me to expand it. I was floored.

A lot of the times, through my writing, and yes, my journey with my writing, I keep on beating myself up. I have now given myself the permission to just go with the flow. With that I can be authentic with myself and also, with my creativity. I need to shrug out of this sweater of defeat and keep on keeping on. I know that I can do it. I need to stamp and grind fear into the ground so that it just becomes dust ready to blow away and disappear. It's a given for me to travel this sometimes crooked path; to come to the many bends and obstacles but I will continue to navigate them and jump right over them and continue with my writing, and yes, my journey of discovery.

There are still a few things that I have to do, but I am approaching them very carefully. All in all, this life writing course will be my own Pandora's Box.  It will be ajar in the sense of adding authenticity to my writing. And that is what I propose to do at all times from now on.

1 comment:

  1. "...stamp and grind fear into the ground so that it just becomes dust ready to blow away and disappear." You're on your way!!! xxx