Weekly Protein
By Beef


When I first decided I was going to add this column to the site, it was because I had a million things to say. My mind was filled. I was constantly thinking of new things I wanted to talk about. Hell, I even had a couple of these ideas fleshed out, half-written mentally, even. Then I formatted the page and put my hands on the keys.

I forgot everything. And I do mean everything.

I can't remember a single damned thing I was going to write about. Not one.

My love, my need for writing came fairly late in my life. I always had a knack for grammar and spelling came easy to me, but writing? I never thought it was something I could make a go at either professionally or as a serious hobby. That is, until I took a creative writing class late in my 20s.

I knew I was hooked when my second assignment, a "how-to" paper, came pouring out of me. I wrote a fictional story, featuring very real elements, on the art of head shrinking.

It felt good. I wrote fiction, something I never thought I could do; I just didn't think I'd have the imagination to come up with some interesting idea and follow through successfully. I don't know why, as I do it all the time with my visual artwork. Writing, I suppose, was just foreign ground, though, an expanse I'd not travelled and therefore intimidated me.

So there I sat in class, my new travelling shoes on, as Professor Goodman read aloud the first paragraph or two of some of the better papers. Lastly, she came to one of which she read the entire first page, while the class laughed at the little opening tale to the how-to.

The author of the piece was me.

I probably blushed, but I was so delighted, so encouraged. I've been rather hooked ever since. The problem is, as has demonstrated here, deciding what to write. The thing about being in a class is that you are given an assignment, a set of guidelines to adhere to, a list of specifics that must be included. On my own, I have no assignment. I have nothing but the wide world in front of me, and so many paths in so many different directions that I have a hard time figuring out where I should go, what I should wear, which terrain will best challenge me without proving impossible to pass, and at which end point I hope to find myself when it's all done. I've found that it's so much harder to write without that assignment, that pressure.

So that is how I find myself now. All dressed up but nowhere to go. Let it be a lesson to myself: always keep handy a little notebook and pen to jot down any ideas as they come. That way, when it's time to write your Weekly Protein, I'll not stare at the screen for 45 minutes!

- Your Proteinacious One



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