Navigating to page one

The first post in any new blog should probably say something incredibly profound. I should probably have some brilliant anecdote to tell that would set apart my blog and make someone, somewhere think that I am not only incredibly insightful, but also maybe a little funny. But, alas, I am coming up a little uncreative today. Or, feeling a little underwhelmed (or overwhelmed) by the possibility of doing something new. Or, this is just another way for me to avoid doing what it is that I need to be doing…writing.

The other day, I told someone the name of my new blog. I liked it mostly because of the “alliteration” of its name. It included my name – which being a Leo I felt was incredibly important – and also easy to find. I could have referenced Hildegaard von Bingen (the woman who I am borrowing for my own photo) but that might have confused people for my name is not Hildegaard… I was informed that many people use the term “musings” in the title of their blogs. I just wonder how many of their names start with the letter “M.” Even so, it seems to fit for me because I feel that is what I do…’muse about things. Thus, my creativity is falling short in this first post of a writer wanna be.

Of course some might say that just by the sheer fact that I am writing, I am a “writer” for it is the action of writing which defines the creator/person as the writer. Others, however, might say that because I have yet to really be paid for my pen, or, the fact that I haven’t had a lot published would indicate that I am indeed not a “writer” but a person who writes…

I have spent the last year accepting my own creative desire and need to write. I find that I have these moments where I can no longer fight the little ticking voice in my head that says, “not yet” “not yet” and the mind clears, my hand takes pen and there they emerge – the words on a page. Suddenly, characters appear and I see a storyline emerge. I can feel the deep desire to connect with the source of creativity within me.

Yet…I don’t always listen. In fact, much of the time is spent ignoring said inspiration and, instead, go and do laundry, or, decide that I really need to go and get that thing from the store…Procrastination and I are quite close. I will even devise an entire scheme which looks like I am doing something very important, like taking a course with lots of homework, and end up doing the course work instead of the novel that has been in my head for five years.

Most writers that I have spoken with about these things have said the same thing…”WRITE.” Don’t worry about what people will say or who is going to read it, just write for yourself. ” I think my problem is that I am quite a harsh critic on certain things so when I write for myself, I inevitably scowl, snort and look away. Sometimes, though, I find myself impressed.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you have written something, you walk away for a few days, come back and look at a sentence and think, “Who wrote that? It is pretty good.” Then, you realize that it was in fact written by you! This has happened to me a couple of times in my day job and I laugh each time. Sometimes, I can even impress the most sniveling of critics…me.

And, so, this blog, I think will be about me writing my first novel. I hope that by navigating the fascinating critic within myself, I might be able to actually come out the other end with something that, at least, I can be a bit proud of.



About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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