Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winding Roads and the Writer's Ultimate Concern

{Driving north on Vermont 100, is always happier than driving south, towards home}

I spent last week up in Waitsfield, Vermont, skiing Sugarbush with my family. The weather was great, the snow was good, and I felt the happiest I had been in a while. To get to Waitsfield, we drive through New York state, and when we finally cross the border into Vermont, the journey further northward continues on Vermont 100. 

On this trip, I sat in the back seat of our Jeep Cherokee, looking out of the window for most of the way, watching the mile count on the green road signs dwindle with excitement. The further north we traveled, the taller the mountains became, the denser the forests, the fewer cars on the road. Red barns and silos, cloudy skies, and a popping sound in my ear as the incline became steeper. 

I've discovered over the years that long car rides are one of the perfect times to think - that speeding along roads, watching the outdoors blur past, is both quiet and sometimes boring (especially when everyone else in the car is asleep, well, besides my dad, who is always behind the wheel). 

So naturally, my mind wandered to thoughts about writing, as it often does. I think about writing quite often, but lately, I've done very little actual writing. And all of my excuses are poor, so I won't tell them here. But on this car ride, I thought about writing, and I thought about the writer's ultimate concern: not writing

I always feel like I should be writing, that I should be writing more than just essays for my English teacher - that I should be writing for me. But lately, I haven't quite had it in me. And that's the writer's greatest concern, their greatest fear: writer's block, lack of enthusiasm, and thinking that everything important has already been written.

I often wonder how great writers like Hemingway and Rowling got over this fear, or if they ever did. Sure, there are blog posts out there for "How to Get Rid of Writer's Block" but I don't know how many of those tips actually work (considering how I sadly, haven't even made an effort to try them). 

It is now 2015 though, and at the turn of a new year, most people make resolutions. Mine have always been to run more, to keep my room more organized, but those tasks are only ever half-way completed and end up being quite pointless. So 2015 for me, although will contain a lot more of Junior-year chaos, will hopefully be a year of writing, as my resolution is to write something for me every week. The writing doesn't have to be good, hell, it can crappy and unfinished, I don't care. 

Along those winding roads last week, in the car on the way to my favorite place, I thought about the millions of snowflakes, pine needles, novels, sentences, and words that our world contains - and the still infinite possibility for more.