When Twenties Unscripted Is All Said And Done…

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail31 Day Writing Challenge Day 15: “When I turn 30, I hope…”

People have asked me what happens to Twenties Unscripted when I turn 30. That is like asking a parent what happens when their 12-year-old child goes to college at age 18. There are still six incredible years left to royally screw up, make memories and document it all. So, I do not yet have an answer for that question.

I am not good at answering the “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question or any other queries of its kind. I have not ever been one to give myself arbitrary and ridiculous deadlines of when I should be married or have children. So, I can’t spit off those facts and figures. I understand life and the people around me well enough to know that plans change, deadlines get pushed up and pushed back, and surprises occur. So, today’s topic was hard for me because I can’t provide you with a clean-cut and coherent response. But, then again, do I ever?

When I turn 30, I hope that I am not writing about babies, breast-feeding or husbands. I hope, of course, that I am still writing. I hope that I still have a smartass mouth, a lot to say and an outlet to say it. And, I hope that people are still relating to that. Maybe they will hate that. Maybe they will love that. But, I hope they are still reading and reacting.

When I turn 30, I hope that I still give myself room to make mistakes. I hope that I do not believe I have to have it all together or throw myself into building a nuclear family to be the kind of person I want to be. Maybe I will want those things. And, maybe I won’t. But, whatever I choose, I hope that it will be OK. And, not OK for the world around me, but, mostly, OK for myself.

When I turn 30, I hope I have published a book. Maybe two.

I hope that by the time I’m 30, Twenties Unscripted became something. That, if nothing else, it drove people to figure their shit out and to make mistakes while doing it. I hope that it is a teeny tiny gem in the big bad world of Internet history. I hope the archive of my crazy twenties somehow is valued–not really valued by others, but mostly valued by myself. That I’m able to look back at what I worked on and sometimes laugh, sometimes cringe and sometimes wonder “What was I thinking?” or “How the hell did I write that?” But, I hope to look back on years of writing and see growth and evolution and myself. I hope that I have Twenties Unscripted to hold on to– a time capsule of what I did, what I went through, and precisely how I felt.

I hope that I’m happy when I’m 30. That I am adjusted, confident, and secure. I hope that I give way less fucks about what people think. I hope that life is good. I hope that the people around me are happy. I hope that I’m doing what I want to be doing and making my way through the world.

I hope that when I’m 30, I can close the chapter on Twenties Unscripted knowing that I put everything I had into it and it meant something. That this blog was one of my constants in a decade that threw nothing but curveballs my way. I hope Twenties Unscripted is just as important to me then as it is now.



Writing Is Crawling Out Of The Belly Of A Beast With A Story To Tell.

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 14: “Writing is…”

Writing is work. What it takes you two to three minutes to read usually takes someone an hour to write (if it’s any semblance of readable and good.) Ideas typically spend hours circling my brain, itty bitty sentences coming to me in the middle of conversations or while I’m peeing and staring at the fluorescent lights in the work bathroom. Writing is blood, sweat and tears thrown into a blender and emerging as sensible syllables. Writing is work. Hard work.

Writing is competitive. It is a lot of self-involved individuals seeking the perfect decibel to reach in order to cut through the noise of the Internet. But, writing is also kinship. It is applauding people whose sentences strike you, whose words affect you, whose talent stuns you. It is competing more with yourself than with anyone else. And, that is a competition you will never win.

Writing is perfectionism. It is picking apart words, deleting sentences, and searching for synonyms. It is cringing when you re-read your work and battling with yourself for the ideal way to tell your stories. That is also a battle you will never win.

Writing is reading. It is taking the time to pause, stop typing and absorb the work and the world around you. Writing is just as much reading books as it is reading people. It is non-stop collection. It is observation turned into inspiration turned into written communication.

Writing is a lot of thinking and a lot of drinking. It is sometimes numbing yourself so that you have the audacity to sit in a room alone and pour out the secrets you swore you would never tell.

Writing is hardly ever paying full attention to anything. It is your mind on overdrive, concepts and opinions striking you invariably and riddling your life with footnotes. Writing is the notes section of your iPhone, the inbox of your Gmail, post-its scribbled on at your desk, and, every now again, words in one consistent place.

Writing is memory. It is recalling the taste of someone’s lips, the power of someone’s cologne, the last sentence before a break-up. Writing is painstaking attention to detail. It is remembering what you wore that day you got fired or what you ate before the worst hangover of your entire life. It is adding color, adorning your words with the accessories of your cognizance.

Writing is a hell of a lot of feelings. It is giving yourself the room to be happy, confused, livid, broken, apprehensive, frightened, vengeful, disgusted, overjoyed, bitter, excited, and everything else. Because, you will find yourself channeling a host of different emotions when it’s time to put pen to paper. You will find that you have to be able to channel red hot rage or mild infatuation or head-to-toe excitement, sometimes all in one piece of work.

Writing is authenticity. It is stripping down completely naked and letting people see you and hear you. It is letting go of the airs, letting go of the insecurities, letting go of the things that suppress you every day. It is exposing yourself unclothed, stretch marks and strange tattoos and all, because, sooner or later, you learn everyone looks exactly like you. Everyone’s stories are the same. Everyone’s heartache shakes them to the core. Everyone wants somebody to say what they have been afraid to say for so long.

Writing is a way out. It is an escape that happy hour, vacation or your therapist’s couch will never ever give you. It is, to quote J. Cole, “painting a picture of [your] pain for the world to see.” It is amassing your guilt, shame, heartache and horror and spitting it all back out into something agonizingly beautiful. Writing is crawling out of the belly of a beast with a story to tell.




Put Anything On The Damn Page: The Ironic Cure To Writer’s Block

writers block31 Day Writing Challenge Day 12: “When I have writer’s block…”

I’ve written for 11 consecutive days which means I am tired. Yes, even someone who yearns to get home most days and throw words on to a screen can tire of writing. I am accustomed to building in Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as my writing break days, so to write straight through them is an exercise to which I am not quite acclimated.

But, that’s why I undertook this writing challenge. Because, I knew that fatigue would wash over me soon enough and I wanted to know how it felt to work through it. My hope is that at the end of the month, I’ll look back on August 2013 as a time where I stretched and grew as a writer. I’ll remember how it felt to write on Saturday nights or Friday mornings and hope those memories will propel me to work on my manuscript during the weekends as well.

Today’s topic is to write about writer’s block. As of this morning, I had no idea what to write. Irony at its finest.

I rarely get writer’s block. Typically, my version of “writer’s block” means I am lazy and would rather watch something on Bravo than sit my ass down and write. However, I have found that my only cure to writer’s block is to, well, write.

Writers tend to be our own worst critics. I once said I usually only write one blog post a week that I actually like. That isn’t to say the remaining ones are rancid piles of garbage. I always write hoping that someone connects. But, occasionally, I’ll go back, read the posts and think “What the hell was I thinking?” or “I wonder if anyone will notice if I change this phrase two days later after this piece is essentially dead in the hyper fast world of the blogosphere.”

It is this theory of self-criticism that leads most to writer’s block. We don’t know what to put on the page because we’ll go back and edit it 100 times over. Or, we’ll cringe when we re-read it. We want it to be absolutely and utterly perfect, an adjective that has never been used in the history of the world to describe writing. It is never perfect. It is never complete. There is always more to say. There are words to cut and add. These are the miniature thoughts that creep into our minds when we easily pull the “writer’s block” card.

Some say the cure is to get up. Clear your head. Walk away. But, I have found that when I walk away, I very rarely come back. Just ask my manuscript–she’s been abandoned for weeks now because of “writer’s block.” For me, the only way to combat this common panacea of scribes is to write. It sounds a bit backward–almost like telling a hungover person who is gripping the toilet to drink more alcohol. But, I believe this works.

Write anything. Write a grocery list. Write a paragraph about the weekend. Free associate a list of words about your mother or your orthodontist. Write (but don’t send) a letter to your ex. Put something, anything, on the damn page. Turn on some Sade or some Lenny Kravitz or whoever calms your nerves. Do not worry what the rest of the world will think or say. Let your mind run wild and rampant. Be honest. Be authentic. Be real. Because if it’s not genuine, everyone will see right through your bullshit. Just write. It doesn’t have to make sense. It certainly will not be perfect. But, you will be writing. And, that is what writers do.

Oh, and a little wine helps, too.



Mixed Feelings As Summer Crawls To A Close

Some Summer 2013 highlights so far.
Some Summer 2013 highlights so far.

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 9: “So far, summer has been…”

Summers are supposed to be crammed with some of the best times of your life. The weather has lifted, there’s plenty of trouble to get into and your social calendar should be filled to the brim. So, about six weeks ago, when both my summer plans and budding romance fell out from the bottom, I had to rearrange my hopes for this season.

The truth is, most of my post-grad summers have been less than stellar. My first summer out of college, I was adjusting to a topsy turvy new life in New England. Last summer, I was in the hot, hot heat of Texas with little to no plane fare to come visit my people back on the East Coast. (Moral of that story: I have moved a lot.) And, this summer? It has just been OK.

At times I feel guilty for not bursting with joy during the summer because soon enough, the cloak of winter will encase all of us, propelling the majority to spend most weekends hibernating. But, autumn has always been my favorite season. After I’ve spent way too much money (or complained about not having enough money to spend) throughout the summer, I can usually spend autumn regrouping, celebrating my birthday and getting excited for the upcoming holidays. I am at peace during autumn knowing the rest of the world does not expect me to be incessantly social, wild or busy the way it does during summer.

But, if there’s anything Summer 2013 has given me, it is a newfound connection to my writing. I’ve written non-stop this season, connected to a new base of both writers and readers and decided to undertake this writing challenge, an exercise that has given me new confidence and motivated me to write more during the weekends. I also have plans to perform at another open mic later this month, challenging me to move beyond the comfortable parameters of my daily blog posts in favor of poetry. Writing has quieted my mind. It has allowed me to reconcile with the fact that my summers may not always be noteworthy and only I have to be OK with that. Writing is how I have escaped the warm weather hype and carved out a new meaning for the season.

Here’s to the last few weeks of Summer 2013. May they be good to us.



Confession: Commitment Scares The Sh*t Out Of Me

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 8:”The word commitment”

Commitment (n.): a pledge or promise; an obligation

Last night, the Twitter hashtag #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion inundated my timeline, prompting a flood of controversial statements about Beyoncé, certain foods and fake hair to say the least. The theme of confession spilled in to my blog post tonight, impelling me to own up to a bit of a fear that I possess.

Saying you are “afraid of commitment” is a commonplace and overused expression, which only makes me feel more silly for writing this. It’s the kind of phrase some people blindly grab out of their back pocket in hopes of avoiding an impending relationship. It’s a nice let-down, a way not to become a total jackass when you don’t want to date someone. However, sometimes, for whatever reason, a person is truly afraid of commitment.

I am not the kind of woman who dreams of getting married and having babies. That overwhelming desire is not laced in my DNA the way I see it with some other ladies. Sometimes, my lack of excitement about these seemingly inevitable life events makes me feel guilty, an odd bird in a sea of penguins. People tell me I feel this way because I am young, but the people who know me best–my sisters, parents and closest friends–know it’s probably just because I’m Tyece. They know the desire may grow slightly as I get older or it may not. And, they’re OK with that.

“If the idea of one person, day after day, for the rest of your life, doesn’t scare you at least a little bit, then you’re crazy.” I said this on the phone to one of my closest friends last night. That sentence doesn’t mean I don’t believe in monogamy or matrimony; it means that when I think of all of the above, my heart beats just a little quicker. Real adult relationships seem ten levels above my head–a head that I can barely keep  above water in an ocean of bills, responsibilities and evening blog posts. (Now is the time for you to insert the “That’s cause you haven’t found the right person yet” comment. I’ll just pause.)

That statement could quite possibly be accurate–I haven’t found the earth-shattering love that would convict me and thus eradicate my misgivings. But, even if I did, I still think commitment would scare me a bit. Because, “forever” is a concept that we see in movies, we read about in books, and, if we’re lucky, we see perpetuated in real life as a spectator to other relationships. But, even with the volumes of information we can observe, committing ourselves to one person for the remainder of our lives is still a unique trial by fire for which we can never truly prepare.

Like most self-respecting adults, I’ll have to overcome my fear eventually. I’ll have to put on my big girl panties and commit to someone. Right? I’ll meet someone and want to have their little brown babies?

That just made me laugh out loud. I can’t take any of this real adult shit seriously.