Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Am I Supposed to Write?

I was watching Love Jones the other day, one of my favorite romantic love movies EVER. Like second to maybe Brown Sugar and Love and Basketball. And though the premise is like those of all other romantic movies, I totally fell in love with the idea of Nia Long, the photographer, and Larenz Tate, the "Renaissance black man" who recited poetry, quoted Bernard Shaw, and effortlessly romanced Nia to the sounds of Miles Davis.

I'll never forget one of my favorite parts of the movie: They are on their first date and they're walking down a secluded street at night talking, getting to know each other. He's talking about his book and what he reads. She says what she reads and admits she wants to burn her notebook. Larenz Tate's response:

"Oh no. Your notebook is your notebook. It's about reaching your potential. No one else's."

I started scribbling in my notebook in second grade. I had to write a short story about a family. Since then, I just wrote whatever, whenever I got to the urge too. Poetry, short stories, essays. I didn't know what I wanted to be, but I know I wanted it to involve some form of me telling a story.

If any of you follow me on twitter, you know that I've been posting a few articles on Clutch Magazine over the course of the past few weeks. Each post has received a small amount of commentary, nothing extraordinary for Clutch, who I've seen receive up to 90 plus comments on one post.

I see plenty "good job, great post" comments, but I also see a fair share of criticism. All well and good of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But everytime I write something I always have to repeat in my head that these are my thoughts, feelings, expressions, etc. and no matter what, they are original. Not only that, but they mean something.

But then the question becomes - how am I supposed to write? I mean, how is anyone supposed to write. Noun, verb, object. Basic grammar. Sentence structure. Construct a story. Keep the audience interested. Oh, and make it good! But don't sound like a fool. Read and write. Often. Matter of fact, everyday.

I did that and still do, so it really becomes more of a subjective question. I'm slowly becoming more analytical about what Larenz Tate says. Because he was right...it is about reaching my potential. And that's all that matters.

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