I’ve written some spectacularly crappy stories this week.
We’re talking dry ledes, terrible metaphors, lots and lots of clunky exposition.
The answer, of course, is not to stop writing. If you only write when you feel like it, you’ll never write. (If I only write when I feel like it, I find myself out of a job.)
What I need to do is get up and move.
Especially because most of what I write is human interest, every word I put on paper — even though it’s sourced — is also fed by my life outside of writing. My best anecdotes come when things I’ve felt merge with the things I see. When I’m not feeling anything but deadline pressure or seeing anything but a cursor blinking on a screen, my words dry out.
I need time to be something else.
I need room to be the granddaughter of simple Lowcountry people, room to be a girl who knows how to catch crabs and doesn’t wear shoes in the summer. I need time to be the girl who took the long way to class so I could walk through King Street past street musicians with open cases. I need to be a best friend, I need to cook, I need to go to movies. I need to make something.
I need to be someone besides Meghan from the News-Topic can I ask you a few questions today?
I am something and someone outside of work and outside of journalism, and I need to give myself time to be that person before I try to put myself onto a page.