Freewriting

In high school I wrote about music. Like, really. I followed artists (Dream Street, Play, Aaron Carter) (I’m not ashamed)(I was 14)(Ok, maybe a little) all around the Northeast and even into New York City. Little girl with big dreams. I had a websites and a list of publicists that I kept in regular contact with. I sent pitch letters and interviewed artists like Jump 5 and the stars of the Hilary Duff show LizzeMcGuire. I taught myself how to create a website, read html, php. I downloaded graphics programs and learned how to use them, figured out how to manipulate already-made websites and their layouts so that they would fit my needs.

Then, I graduated and headed to college. Music faded. Fashion became a huge part of my life. I began making clothes – and I do say ‘making’. I had no real training on a sewing machine and half the time I was using the fabulous iron-on hem to hem all the odds and ends. I could make a dress in less than a day with that stuff!

Then I started writing again, and delved into the college world of journalism. I wrote for Arts & Entertainment, I felt in my element again. Going to concerts, researching, asking questions, taking pictures. I would stand in the middle of the floor of an OAR concert, general admission, standing room only, being shoved and shmushed between people, pen in one hand, notebook in the other. Yes, I took notes at concerts.

Then I graduated. Where’d I go? Well, I kept waitressing. But, anyone that knows me, knows that I can’t do just one thing. So, I started to write a blog following – who else – the customers that I waited on. Frankly, standing behind a bar is even better than being invisible during a conversation. Why? Because these people actually want to talk to you sometimes, they want your input, they want you to nod and smile as you pour another Balvenie on the rocks. The things I heard! The characters I met! It was some of the best material I’d ever had.

Then I got a Fashion PR job, and cut my hours there in half. Back to fashion it seemed. Drove 2 hours to work, worked 9-6 usually, then drove 1.5 hours home. I was exhausted, and sitting at a desk all day with little understanding of what the hell these people really wanted me to do for them. She wanted my input on Social Media, but she didn’t actually want to hear anything I had to say. “You should start a blog, or a Facebook account, you need to be more active on your Twitter, you need to use it to converse not just to state random things.” Nope, nope, nope, but she did want me to make Facebook and Twitter accounts for every single one of clients – who never gave me any material that would have helped me. I felt like in the long run, she just wanted me to package up samples as fast as I could. When she asked me to pitch to a list of Bloggers, I didn’t even know what to say, she’d had the other girl write it all out for me and then I just had to forward it along. Really? 4 years of college? This is what you want from me?

3 months later I was back, full time at the restaurant gathering the most interesting fodder as fast as my brain could comprehend. My notebook wasn’t just filled with, “Fried Haddock, Baked Potato & Seafood Saute,” it contained detailed notes on the most interesting tidbits I’d experienced that evening. When one of the employees I worked with decided he didn’t think it was appropriate (in hindsight, I should have kept it wicked anonymous, too many people knew about it) I agreed to stop writing it, even though I loved it so much. I remember reading a comment that I’d received from a random viewer in the last week. He loved it, and told me I’d made him feel like he was really there and a part of it. I beamed back at my glowing computer screen. That was it! That was what I’d wanted to do.

I tried writing another blog, Lemons for Fools (http://lemonsforfools.wordpress.com) – a blog about finding out how to make Lemonade when life gives you lemons – but it wasn’t cutting it for me. Then, I decided. It’s time to make a move. Up I went. New York City. Big and bright and shiny. And daunting. Very daunting. But I’d made up my mind. I had to do it. For me, for some weird reckless, antsy feeling that just said I had to.

When you write, and when you start a blog, people tell you to pick a topic. I’ve been hopping and skipping and jumping topics for as long as I’ve been able to write. Fiction, music, fashion, music, restaurant humor – the bottom line is that whatever it’s been, I’ve always written. At least, at every time that I was writing, I’ve always found myself to be pretty happy. So I suppose right now, if I had to narrow down on a topic, it’d have to be life. Decorating my apartment, going vegan (crazy, right?!), living and learning about this city, about my self. I don’t just write about music, or fashion, or DIY. I haven’t found my topic, or maybe I have. I’m just going to keep writing, and to those of you that read and comment, thank you so much. I think I’ve found comfort in the hope that, surely, theremust be some way to come out of all of this and be able to write? Right?

 

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