Discover more from Practice Space
No. 1 - For a First Post…
First words are always the hardest. This is as true for writers as it is for babies. It was especially hard to begin this blog when I didn’t quite know what I wanted it to be. I felt the need for a different kind of writing project, one a bit less demanding and emotionally charged than fiction and which I could turn to on those occasions when my creative well inevitably ran dry. I might say I was looking for, as Anne Lamott puts it in Bird by Bird, “something to keep my fingers from getting too arthritic”. As I write this, I’ve just finished a story I’d been working on for over eight weeks, and my well is drier than Hannibal Lecter’s sense of humour.
As I’ve gotten more experienced and managed to leap over various nefarious obstacles along my writing journey, a more profound sort of confidence started to grow inside me, a feeling of stability that came hot on the heels of one simple discovery: that writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life. That a writer’s are the shoes I’m meant to wear, a writer’s the myopic vision and the spider-like keyboard-tapping I wish to develop.
At some point, I realised I wanted a bigger audience. I think there’s no shame in admitting this. For one thing, the need for one’s voice to be acknowledged by others is universal, and for another, think summer camp, and sitting around a fire with your friends, sharing ghost stories. The whole thing’s much more fun the more people are there, no?
The blog starts out as an experiment, which means that many, if not most, of the entries going forward will be as much of a surprise for me as they will be for you. The aim of this first one is just to say hello (howdy, by the way, I’m Andrei Șișman!), and let you know a little of what you can expect. To set the bar, so to speak, and set it high (but hopefully not too high).
For the most part, the blog will centre on writing. I’ll be sharing words that impressed me, talking about books that I’ve read and enjoyed, and about that mysterious dark lady known as craft. I hope you’ll join me in getting to know her better.
Practice Space will also function as a kind of journal. Some days, I might be jotting down my thoughts (with a compulsory measure of rambling), or I’ll be sharing some personal stories about my process or life in general, including the leapt-over obstacles I’ve just mentioned and others that are still too high up for me. Together, we’ll discover what inspires writers not to quit even when things are gut-wrenchingly difficult, and maybe there will even be some interviews with people whom, writers or not, I care deeply for.
To return to the campfire metaphor, I’d like for Practice Space to be a place that fosters community and conversation. I hope that future issues may serve not just to answer some questions but pose others still, to provide some insight while inciting and encouraging you to keep the fire lit in your own life (and maybe share something with me in the comments, as well).
The first full issue of the blog will be out December 2nd, and I promise it’ll be worth the wait! I’ll explore the first story I ever wrote and the invaluable changes it spurred in my life.
Till then, as the saying goes, welcome aboard. Enjoy your stay.
P.S.: You can also reach out to me on Twitter at @andrew_atanasov.
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