Now that college is (finally) over, and I’m in that void of time where I’ve submitted countless applications and spend most of my time patiently waiting around for my phone to ring for an interview, I’ve been reading a lot. I struggle with having a lot of free time. I like to keep busy. I actually find myself more exhausted after a day of doing nothing than when I get up at 5 am and have a fully packed schedule until 10 pm. I’m reading a lot of books that I set aside this past semester because I was too busy reading psychology research. My aunt gave me Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg as a graduation gift. She knows I’m a writer who has always dreamt of publishing books, and she thought it would be a good addition to my bookshelves.
This quote actually came from one of the many prefaces, and it made me realize so many things about my writing. Writers end up writing about their obsessions. What do I write about nine times out of ten? People.
Obsession can be a dirty word. It can have a lot of negative context and can make it sound like you are crafting your world around something specific. But I don’t think it always has to be that way. To be honest, if I had the funds to travel more often, I would probably spend most of my time writing about that. But I’m a brand-spankin’-new college grad who can’t even afford to move out of my home state at the current time, so I doubt I’ll be publishing any pieces on how beautiful Bali is anytime soon.
I’m an extremely observant person. I think it was born out of naturally being the quiet girl, and as I got older and more confident in myself, I never stopped watching people. Not everyone catches my eye; there has to be something about them. It’s an energy thing. Every once in awhile I meet someone who has a truly unique vibe, and they catch my attention. I almost always end up writing about them.
My first version of my blog was almost my own version of 13 Reasons Why, where I singled people out without ever naming them (but making it glaringly obvious who I was referring to) and wrote about how they hurt me and blah blah blah. I was in a lot of pain back then and I was fairly (okay, very) immature. You think you know everything when you’re twenty, and it turns out you don’t know shit. Hell, I’m twenty-five and still don’t know shit. But still, I was writing about people.
I’ve found old diaries, old livejournal URLs, notebooks from high school where I filled empty pages with narrative about my life, and it’s all about people. People that I noticed. People that I wanted to be. People that I wanted to know.
I’ve always known I wouldn’t ever be a novelist because I’m not a huge fiction junkie. It’s not that I don’t read it, it’s just that it has to be pretty damn good for me to actually make it to the end. I get bored with fiction because it isn’t real. Yes, it sounds so wonderful, but in the end, it doesn’t actually exist. I’d rather try to find the magic in reality.
I fall in love with people every day. I think people are magical. I love learning all the unique quirks about the people in my life, and there are some people I could just sit and listen to them talk for hours because I think they are magnificent thinkers.
It’s really fitting that I got a degree in psychology, honestly. Even though I picked it for selfish reasons, it wound up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was able to learn more about how and why people do the things they do. But that’s neither here nor there.
I have an obsession with people. I think it’s incredible how we’re all basically made up of the same core things, and yet we’re all unique individuals. So that’s what I write about. I write about my experiences meeting new people, spending time with them, things that catch my eye. Sometimes it makes it to this blog, sometimes it’s poetry on my tumblr, sometimes it never sees the light of day.
Maybe it’s creepy. I used to feel so self-conscious about it. I remember when I published my first impression series a few summers ago, I was so nervous that the people I was writing about would think it was so weird, but they were all so flattered. That’s the thing. If you make enough of an impression on an artist that you inspire something in them, it should be taken as a compliment. That’s all I mean by it.
I’m just trying to show you all how magnificent you are.