Making the Impossible a Possibility

Cut and Paste

I feel that every writer has a certain insecurity, a varying level of distrust in self confidence. We cannot comprehend that our writing can be something great, if we give our work the time to blossom and grow, cultivate it into something more than that first draft.

I walked into the workshop today, proud to have fifteen pages of typed work in my hands. I beamed as my friends glanced at the thick pile of paper in my hands, smooth glossy ink catching the light. Then Michael walked in. Our professor said,

“Today, we are going to take the pieces we wrote and cut them up. Reassemble them into fragments of our lives. Cultivate it into our own autobiography, center it around a certain theme.”

He tossed a pair of safety scissors at us, a roll of tape, and tore off large sheets of newspaper.

“Begin. You have fifteen minutes of working time.”

Everyone immediately dove in, meticulously cutting up their work. Chunks of paragraphs strewn on the sheet of newsprint in front of them. I stared at my pile before me, dubious.

“Can we include fiction?” I asked meekly.

Eight pages of my work were comprised of stories that I had just come up with.

“Only if you’re the character involved or really connects to this theme. Remember, we are creating a portion of our autobiographies for our portfolio piece,” Michael replied.

I pushed those eight pages off to the side, saddened that they did not meet the criteria, and held the first sheet in my hand. I took the scissors, and made the first snips.

Surprisingly, I started to get even more involved in cutting up my pieces. I cut out mere sentences, not just chunks of paragraphs. I wanted to combine whole different pieces into one large thing, a piece that truly emphasized who I am as a writer, a reader, a daughter, a friend, a girl, a lover, a person.

After I really looked at what I had done, I began to notice a connection. This type of writing really reminded me of a stream of consciousness piece. But it’s so blase to use a cliche title. So then I realized that all of my pieces of my life take part in different locations, all connected together to form the map of my world. I decided to entitle it, “A Stream of Mobility.” I think it really personifies who I am. I am constantly in motion, whether it’s just my fingers typing or flipping pages, my mind in a whole different location, or busy with extracurricular activities or school or family and friends.

The end effect looks like this:

Technically, I think that you can read my whole piece of writing on this picture. I am planning on creating another page on this blog to post the writing that I am completing here at my camp. I hope these posts will help you learn right along with me!

Overall, in effect with this post, I wanted to emphasize how scared I was to try something new. To destroy my pieces, and create something entirely new out of them. Something that, in effect, became entirely better than the first drafts. I think that’s the hardest part about being a writer, parting with your stubborn ways for the good of the progression of the piece. I am learning to let go, and let the writing do the rest.

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Comments on: "Cut and Paste" (2)

  1. Does it help to know that your original piece can be returned to if you choose to return to it? Or does reframing and mixing it seem to alter it permanently in your mind?

  2. thinkerrbelle said:

    I think it really helps to just see that there are numerous ways you can alter what you thought was a finished piece. You can return to the original, too, if you end up deciding that you don’t like the changes that you made with the order. But it’s definitely awe-inspiring to see the different directions one piece can spread into. I noticed that mixing the order of the pieces can also bring different meaning throughout the context, which is extremely interesting.

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