By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief
Writing creatively is like eating healthy… Sure, you’d like to start doing it on the daily, and you know it would probably be good for you, but when the time comes around to, you know, do the damn thing, you just can’t seem to make the necessary effort.
Believe me, I’m right there with you.
Probably the most creative thing I do all week is write up this Lettitor, and half the time I’m copping out of even doing that properly by instead explaining what changes we made at our last Other Press board meeting, or giving my take on whatever the week’s feature is about.
It’s hard to write something completely original… it’s scary, even. Who knows what people will think about the ideas you present? Or, worse, critique the way you present them.
I spent a large part of late January and early February typing up a piece of fiction for my girlfriend (yes, as a Valentine’s Day present, and no, my girlfriend isn’t also fictional). I won’t get into specifics, but it was a full 12,000 words straight out of my own skull, with a fixed and ever-looming deadline… which I, naturally, missed.
It was difficult to schedule in an hour here, two hours there to do nothing more than sit down and type out this ridiculous, unbelievable, and often-times grammatically incorrect story, but after a few solid sessions the writing started to become somewhat therapeutic.
It was writing that I wanted to do, and though it felt like work more often than not—because writing is work, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise—there was also an immense sense of accomplishment whenever I checked the new word count after losing myself in an extensive few pages of dialogue.
Now here I am, on the other side of Valentine’s Day, without any pressing reason as to why I should be writing creatively—or at least not one strong enough to force any allocation of free time. I wish I had more of a drive to actually write out all the random conversations and ideas that pop into my head, but I’m just too damn lazy to do it.
And that, I think, finally brings us to the buried lede of this entire Lettitor.
Do not blindly follow in my damned footsteps, dear reader. Go forth and type, or scribble, or cut out magazine letters and glue them into words. Make up silly situations or weird strings of dialogue or poetry that doesn’t make sense to anyone but it’s okay because it doesn’t have to.
And then send all of it in to me, or Rebecca Peterson (emails below) because we’re accepting Creative Writing submissions for our Creative Writing page, and we’ll even pay you a bit of cash. Yeah, that entire spiel was just me plugging the Creative Writing section again. Sue me. (Please don’t.)