Tales from the Optimistic Pessimist

My Story-less Journal

By: Snekochan

I am a writer. Alright, I'm a wanna-be writer: I have permanent writer's block; I've only ever finished one long story-though that's not from a lack of trying; I'm not very well adept at art of the short story. (I have a tendency to add too many characters, where, as my father told me, some short stories don't even have named characters! The very thought of that is horrifying. I guess I like writing for the people.) I've been told by some of my earlier teachers that I was writing stories when I was fairly young. Personally, I think I had an overactive imagination, and that if I didn't write, then my head would've exploded. Ok. I guess that's not true. I don't explode when I don't write, but I suppose you could say I implode- or, I get really, really grouchy. If I were a cartoon, you would see immediately when I had writer's block, or hadn't found the time to write, because there would be a giant black cloud over my head, leeching out to cover the poor innocents around me. It would actually be a great warning system- oops- big black writer-less cloud over Sneko's head- run for cover! Stay away! Prepare for glower squalls, rolling eyes and a 100 chance of sulking!- There. That wasn't so hard, now was it? Problem solved.

Except I'm not a cartoon character. And, as I recently discovered, sometimes, not writing stories can have other effects.

That just goes to show what a pretty pink journal can do for a girl. (Even when she hates pink, with the exception of the journal and the rug -but that's another topic altogether).

It started with a Christmas gift. A pink, spiral bound (my favourite binding) journal with a rose on it. It was completely different than my normal black or black-and-red journals. I loved it. I just couldn't write in it, because I already had a journal running- one of my normal black-and-red ones that I spend most of my time writing in. Still, even that was no big deal. I calculated that I had a few days left in my old journal, and then it would be Christmas holidays. A time when I don't tend to write much anyway. I figured I could hold out. I wanted to start the journal some time special to me- so I chose to start the first entry on my 16th birthday. It made sense to me, and that's probably what would've happened, had I not fallen into my usual habit of writing stories in my journals. It was a habit I hated, because it meant that if I started a journal and carried it around, I'd usually have it finished within one or two months. It was guaranteed that with a date set in mind to start a new journal, I would run out of paper in my old one a week before. No problem, I thought. I can handle that. It's only a week.

I made it through three days, and felt like I would explode. On January 12th, I guiltily pulled out the stack of journals I'd received and picked up the pink journal to start writing and decided I would challenge myself. I was almost finished my online fanfiction story, and I felt I needed to focus more on reality- and on keeping personal promises.

In the entry for January 12th, I decided that (among other things) I wouldn't write stories in my journal. I'm pretty sure it was the only one of the many goals I set for myself that I kept. (The plan to write everyday went out the window on my birthday- I totally forgot. Oops.) Because I did keep that goal. From January 12 to April 23, I didn't write a story in that journal. I finished NTNP on the internet. I wrote out story ideas, which, as everyone knows, are totally different than stories themselves. (That's what I told myself anyway.) I failed to follow through with the goals I set for my 16-year-old self. (Out of the eleven I set, I failed to do numbers 2,3,5,6,7,8,9 and 11.) But I didn't write stories in there. I almost did. Right at the very end. Being on the last pages of a journal is hard, because you can't start anything long, you'll run out of room, but you want to finish it off so you can start a new journal. A difficult time, indeed, but I succeeded in completing one goal. I. Had. Done. It.

Actually doing what you set out to do is a very strange feeling, I must say.

When I finished, I flipped through the journal, laughing at some of my thoughts- it's amazing, really, how much you change in a few months. Things you thought were horrid and important, you don't even remember them. I suppose you could say that I did fail in completing the No-stories rule, because I have a tendency to treat life like a story- always a new page to turn, a new adventure to read, a new challenge to face- the list goes on and on. Speaking of lists, I wrote a new one at the back of that journal. It was full of as many hopeless goals as the first one, but it was better. I also started Sarah's Journal #2. Like The pink 'journal # 1" as I called it, I wrote a list of rules on the first page- the only rule was to write whatever the hell I wanted.

I gave up writing in it after three days of mad story-plotting.

There was no challenge in writing a story journal.

Its making real life a story that's the most fun. Maybe that's why I couldn't get into any of the various stories I tried to write from when I finished New Time New Place on. Maybe I had to learn that lesson and move away from fantasy. Will I never write storied in my journal again? Ha. As if. If I have an idea, I'll write it. But I don't think I'll write in in my journal. My pink journal taught me that my life, as mundane as it is, can be a story that I like to read.

All I have to do is remember to write it!

After all, what else is a wanna-be writer to do?