Cadence Seeger

Up Late

Another late night, up too late, thinking. Thinking about what a great writer everyone told me I was in high school. “That was excellent,” a revered friend’s father told me after he saw a short play I’d written. “Never stop writing.”

I went off to college and didn’t touch fiction again. The closest I got to writing a story was the essay I wrote in the style of a medieval allegory to explore the prejudices of the Spanish Inquisition. I loved writing it. I got an A+ on it. And I haven’t looked at it since. That was almost 7 years ago now. Is it even a good story? I’m afraid if I go back and read it now, I’ll only realize how embarrassingly poorly written it is. A+ writing for an eighteen year old kid outside of her comfy suburban high school for the first time in her life. I was so proud of that piece. Part of that pride still rides with me today. If I continue to not create, can I avoid facing the crushing realization that I’m no longer any good? That I used to have talent that withered away like an under-watered leaf, depleted of any practice? 

What if I’m only good at writing scholarly essays now? What if my skills are only in art analysis and research essays? There are a million and one ways to get prompts to write fiction. That’s how I did it in high school — I received a prompt from my creative writing teacher, and I’d just write. I’d see the story unfold in my mind like a movie playing before my eyes, and I’d merely write down the story as it played. The words flowed easily from my fingertips like it was someone else controlling the actions. A little literary rat sitting atop my head, pulling on plot threads. 

I read the allegory, and while I fixed up some wording here and there, it’s broadly untouched from when I initially wrote it in 2016. It’s posted below as The Wren and His Disciples, if you’d like to give it a read. It’s silly and fun and — thankfully — relatively well written.

Maybe I’ll start writing down more of my musings here. Maybe I’ll even post them. Either way, I hope the glimmers of honesty and vulnerability in this random collection of writings resonates with someone out there.