Friday, January 14, 2005

Jan. 14 Part II

Day work was okay. It just felt like it was 16 hours long instead of 4, in spite of the enjoyable time I had with my colleagues. It was calmer than usual, the work was fine, the camaraderie was there . . .and the internal conflict just grows. I feel like I’m shredding inside. And then I feel guilty, because, as jobs go, it’s a good one, and something many people dream about and never get to do.

And, of course, my writing confidence is shot right now, so there’s the little voice saying, “Whatever makes you think you can make it anywhere except the theatre?”

But I can. And I will. It’s just not going to be this week. It’s a process, and that impatient little voice (that sometimes grows into a big roar) is just going to have to deal.

I know I have to get back to revisions on “Muse” and I’m worried about it. I’m afraid that I can’t look at anything objectively, because obviously I have no taste or I would have known the article didn’t work. . .and rolling down that spiral does absolutely no good at all. The two pieces have nothing to do with each other and are going to completely different markets with completely different viewpoints.

The rain and wind were wild by the time I got into the city. I was soaked through, in spite of an umbrella and waterproof wear. I ran my errands with the temperature rapidly dropping, the rain turning to snow, the water turning into ice crystals on my jeans, and by the time I got back to the theatre, I was so pitiful and bedraggled my colleagues put everything in the dryer. That’s a great thing about working in wardrobe – when you come in out of a storm, you can quickly get put back together, all warm and dry.

Got the press mailing done and that will go to the post office in the morning. Did some work on the Literary Athlete column, on Charlotte, and on Ransagh.

I re-read the Lindisfarne article. It resonates properly to me. In other words, with it, I achieved what I set out to do. I enjoy reading the travel writing of authors such as Susan Allen Toth and Bill Bryson. I enjoy the conversational tone and the mix of history and personal experience. That’s the style – albeit in my own voice – that I want to achieve with my travel writing, and I feel I hit it with the article.

However, it’s not what the editor wants. As tempting as it is to wallow in self-pity about it, that’s a reality of the business. So, I’m trying to rework it in the way she wants (although, in my own defense, I asked at the outset if she wanted a conversational tone or a detached, more omniscient tone and she said, “whatever you want” so I did). Also, the comment about “long on atmosphere” bothers me. Part of what makes it Lindisfarne unique is the atmosphere, and if you cut that out, you cut out a good portion of what it’s like to visit. I have to think about it and play with a few things. Maybe a more subtle tone? Subtlety, in any form, has never been my strong suit. The point is to learn, even if I’m not entirely sure what it is I’m learning. Yet.

Whatever I do with the rewritten article, I’m keeping the draft that I like and will see where else I can match it.

And, if it turns out I’m not a good match for this publication, there’s no reason why I can’t take the list of ideas in my original proposal and write them anyway – they are all about places that have an intense personal meaning.

Tomorrow, the much-abandoned laundry will get done, I have to get more paper and some groceries, I’ll work on Charlotte, “The Muse” and the columns. It’s my last full writing day until January 24 – Monday I’ll be running around and I doubt I’ll get all that much writing done, although I think I can get a good portion of the week’s issues of Tapestry out that very first day.

I appreciate all the responses that urge me to keep the blog the way it is, rather than turning it into a Noel Coward burlesque to fit someone else’s idea of “marketable”. Although the blog’s getting more attention, and I’ve certainly submitted it to listings, etc., and include it on my bio, and it has landed me a few gigs, the primary purpose of it, for me, is to dissect my creative process. Bits of the world enter into that, because daily concerns affect what and how I write. Politics has become personal to me. While I can’t write about it in the journalistic or activistic way that so many other bloggers I admire do, I CAN write about the way it affects my daily life and, therefore, my writing.

As a writer, everything I experience is material; although I don’t include all of it in the blog (even though, on days when I make four part entries, it must seem so), when I can trace back a wisp of inspiration and tie it into the process, I do so. I find that it has enhanced my creativity. Perhaps this is my version of Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages”. When I sit there and write her version, I’m drained by the end of them and don’t get any writing done. Yet, by writing the blog, I find it fuels me, helps me work out tough spots, helps me communicate, and also helps make me more OBJECTIVE, believe it or not, than SUBJECTIVE. It helps me work and worry my way all the way around a subject to maybe see another point of view. And reading blogs of people with vastly different opinions (or similar opinions better articulated or differently articulated) also helps.

Many thanks for the responses.



At 7:43 AM, Blogger Eileen said...

"It was calmer than usual. . ." I've said this many times about a particular day at the office. Thanks for the smile of seeing someone else say the same thing. The question that I have is, what is ususal. Usually at my office chaos is the law of the land. I could write a complete dissertation of how dysfunctional my place of employment is.

"...there’s no reason why I can’t take the list of ideas in my original proposal and write them anyway – they are all about places that have an intense personal meaning." I could not agree with you more. Are you familiar with Bud Gardner? I took "Writing for Publication" with him at American River Jr. College in Sacramento, California. He is one of the most inspirational writers I have ever encountered. He said that if we received rejections, to take the work and rework it until it could be presented to another publisher.

"While I can’t write about it in the journalistic or activistic way that so many other bloggers I admire do, I CAN write about the way it affects my daily life and, therefore, my writing." This is the hallmark of a gifted writer. I have "Walden" in mind. *smile*


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