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Writing Ahead

Photo credit: Genessa Gutzait

Hemingway said, “write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next.” While I’ve always taken this advice when I write I often wonder how these words apply, if at all, to real life. How can I retain my juice if I never know what’s going to happen next? Did I ever have any juice to begin with, and if so, what flavor?

After a healthy stint of existential dread, I’ve recently began planning little things in my life. I’ve submitted a few stories to magazines and plan to submit a few more in the next few days. Moreover, I’ve been planning to work out, meet with friends, go to events, and meet with local artists.

Last Friday, I visited an old warehouse in Golden where my mom used to buy dog food before it closed. Some kids I’d gone to high school with were organizing the GLDN pop-up. Their energy and lust for life was infectious. The scent of fresh creation wafted through the two open rooms as if I had been standing in a blooming garden.

The next day I visited both the Denver Pagan Festival and the Oddities Expo. As I lay beside my boyfriend while he focused on his chalk art, it dawned on me that my life was best lived in this constant momentum. Each day, I knew what I’d be doing the next and so I never grew tired or worried. Sure, I still don’t know what my life will look like in a year, but do I need to?

When I see the support two brothers and their friend’s offer one another to pull off something wonderful in my hometown, I don’t worry as much about failure. Someone is always going to be doing something great that I could be a part of, and sometimes that someone will be me. Our’s is a world made up of an interdependent web of benevolent chimps. Just lean to your left and someone will catch you.

Life only gets scary when you try to write too far ahead. Stories take time to develop. Trust in the process and write slowly.

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