Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Makes a 'Writer?'

Whenever I had pictured writing my thesis, I always envisioned being tucked away in the corner of a local coffee shop, notebooks surrounding me, caffeine zinging through my veins, ducking outside only for the *rare* cigarette, and writing until shooed away by a barista. Then, I would retire home, enjoy a glass of wine on my balcony; books, notes, and paper spread out on my hardwood living room floor. I always saw late nights and early mornings of writing, crafting, and inspiration. Because after all, I was writing THE THESIS.
                What’s this thesis about anyway?
                An interstice is something that intervenes between things, especially between closely spaced things. Therefore, to describe the texts of my thesis as interstitial means they pertain to, are situated in, or form interstices between literary traditions, rhetorical devices, and their focused subject matters. The form of interstitiality becomes especially appropriate for these subject concerns because it is writing based on “in-betweeness” that combines literary traditions in new ways in order to challenge categories and hegemony. The interstitial aspect of identity, of identity that lies between “closely spaced” binaries, becomes the formal dimension of each story. My main subject concern is the exploration of fluid identity; therefore, the stories must express fluidity in their form. Creating an interstitial text allows the expression of, and creates a space for, this exploration.

                Sounds fun, yes?
                I want to take all of these subject concerns that are so important to me, that you’ve seen come up in these blogs, and turn them into fictional stories. In this way, not only do I get to explore them theoretically through veins such as this blog, reading theory, and having conversations with friends, but artistically by creating original stories.

                But how do these subject matters get turned into a story? So far, my thesis stories range from finding a mermaid on the shoreline to a man who is physically disappearing to a girl recounting a past female lover.
                And no, none of these stories have come to me in a caffeine induced flash, or while huddled in the back corner of a coffee shop, or inside the guts of a library, as I had always thought. Which is not a bad or a good thing; just a different thing. Instead, I find myself brainstorming out loud to Droidlet while I give him a bath, sneaking in notes or snippets of writing while he naps, completely abusing Funk’s willingness to hang out with baby alone whenever I need him to so that I can leave and write (small parts of that coffee shop – minus the caffeine and nicotine – coming true). What I’m finding? My writing is better for it. Sometimes, when you have to force yourself to write, when you think you have nothing to say, no story to tell, when the writing is inconvenient to life; that’s when the best work comes forward.

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