On Writing

Two years ago I was absolutely certain that I would be an actress for ever and ever. Now, however, I find myself wistfully comparing myself to the work of David Sedaris and feeling that, given a little polish, I could write like that.

Where did this change come from? And why was my mother right?

I spent hours playing Barbies with my sister. We came up with an entire universe filled rules that governed the hapless lives of the barbie and ken dolls. Most of the time I drove the plot of the story, acting out characters and scenarios as my sister gracelessly chewed on the rubber foot of her favorite doll. I’ve written in a journal since I figured out how to put pen to paper. My whole life is now documented in pictures, short paragraphs and pages of words and symbols. I started this blog two years ago and now have two hundred published posts and 20 thousand hits. My Mother, in her mother-y wisdom, saw this creative streak in me and predicted long ago that I would wind up with a pen in my hand. I, however, was hell bent on being the next Sandra Bullock: so there. Take that Mom.

Now I see that the joke’s on me.

In an attempt at clarity, I spent the afternoon looking up my favorite writers to get a feel for how they got started. Where did they go for their MFA? Yale? Harvard? Oxford? And how much was I willing to shell out for the chance at the same? To my amazement: most writers went to state schools, or small private colleges I’d never heard of. When I searched the internet for the top 25 MFA schools in writing a school in Iowa¬†was at the top of the list! What is this blasphemy!? Here I was looking at grad programs for acting and wondering whose cock I have to suck in order to even get an interview at Yale, when all it seems I have to do for writing is just show up with some of my favorite blog posts printed on nice paper.

Plus: Hunter College, here in New York, is DIRT cheap! I can go to their 2 year program to get my degree and the tuition costs range around 6 grand a year!

My mind is buzzing with the idea of getting better and better at expressing myself through language. The only worry about that is the feeling I got when I signed myself up for sketch writing 101 at the Magnet Theatre and the UCB Theatre. I took both classes and loathed them. I thought maybe writing wasn’t my thing. Yet, I’m still writing a ton. Maybe I’m not in to comedy writing. Maybe I’m in to creative non-fiction… writing about myself, for instance? That actor part of me wanting the attention and laughs; no matter how I get them.

Honestly: I don’t know what I want to do yet. I feel the summer ticking away and deadlines for the fall beginning to pop up. If I am going to make a decision I need to make it relatively soon.

I’ll keep writing in the meantime.

July 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm by Natalie Allen