Ben likes to quote Hamilton to me, about me. He says I “write like I’m running out of time.” I guess I do. I journal almost daily, and though my entries will probably never interest anyone but myself, and sometimes not even then, it’s a comfort to me, a source of relaxation.
I love sending letters. I love every step of it, drafting on my computer or phone, writing out the messages in cursive on my stationery, addressing and sending the thin parcel. I’m old-fashioned and tactile, I know.
How many novels have I begun? How many are eight or eighty pages, and have since been abandoned? I know their endings, and their beginnings have already begun – it’s the middles that trouble me.
I took a creative writing class this semester and learned more than I think I have learned in one semester in a long time. (I took journalism too, but that wasn’t as influential on my writing. It was, however, good practice.)
I learned that I have a knack for dialogue that sounds natural, like a true conversation. I was required to branch out from my traditional genres of fiction, poetry, and essay, though these were required as well. I tried drama, memoir, and creative nonfiction. My (apparent) talent with dialogue makes my dramas believable and captivating, or so I am told.
I also, according to my professor, have a talent for humor. She told me my humor is a gift to my writing.
Humor is that fragile baby of mine that I keep clasped to my chest and don’t show anyone in my writing. The fear that I will fail, that it will fall flat or that I’m doing it wrong, is quite real to me. Hearing not only my professor, but my peers, comment on the humor in my writing of their own volition, was incredibly encouraging.
I think the next step for me is to continue with those genres for which I seem to have a natural inclination: drama, humor, and memoir. I see promise and potential in those.