Better Writer

Argh! Is it possible that I was a better when I was 17 pre-MFA—pre-any-kind-of-creative-writing-class-ever? I keep looking back at my highschool draft of the Epic Novel. Yes, in many ways it was terrible. Yet, the characters seemed more real, more authentic. They certainly seem more like teenagers, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me. What really shocked me was when I compared eulogies.

The current draft, I had so much trouble knowing what to say for this memorial that I finally just put in a placeholder, something along the lines of. “Today, we lost one of our own. A brave, bright, hardworking soldier. The squad won’t be the same without her. We now honor her sacrifice.” O_O I mean, it’s a placeholder, but that is really, really bad.

Contrast to the eulogy I wrote in highschool: “We all knew Jen and loved her. Jen was not only a great soldier, she was a great friend. Her spirit kept us all uplifted. When we got down, Jen always had some joke or encouraging word to cheer us up again. When times got tough, Jen got tough right along with them. She kept us going. I can’t say how much we’re going to miss her. She never flinched when going into battle. Jen just held her head steady and took the blows as they came. She stayed brave to the last, and she died a noble death.”

Um, why can’t I write that today? I’m beginning to despair. What happens when I finally finish the Epic Novel and write something new? Something for which I do not have a highschool draft? Sigh.

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