The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Driven to Distraction

with one comment

Sometimes I wonder why the hell I write.  I can’t ever seem to find all the time I want for it.  Too often I end up writing in fits and starts before walking away from unfinished products with jagged edges that will cut or splinter me the next time I pick them up.  Some of those fits are twenty minutes long; some of those starts will carry me a week or two.  Maybe what I need to think about instead is that it’s still writing, and that I’m still doing something to sharpen my skills.

This has been on my mind for the past month, ever since my Creative Writing class approached the end of the first drafts of their short stories.  I started writing a short story along with them about two months back, and promptly dudmped it after my writer’s group gave me feedback on it.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue to sweat over it; I guess I dug myself too deep of a hole with it.  Maybe I’ll come back to it if I can find the time.

Working with my students’ writing has caused me to be flooded by rewrite after rewrite after rewrite, and thusly I have spent more evenings editing their stuff than I care to admit.  For many of them, it’s been a long, slow, painful process.  I need to teach them better next time.  All that editing has kept me from my own work.  I haven’t much felt like digging into the disturbing world of my last story after melting my brain with student work for an hour or two each night.

Marking their short stories has kept me from something else, too–a poem I started two weeks ago after I continued to replay in my head a woman I work with literally acting out a scene from her childhood during a conversation she was having in the office one day.  An image kept recurring in my mind, and finally I decided there was enough there for me to write about.  And it felt like a poem all along as I was thinking about it.  Finally something tripped in my mind that set into motion the processes the led me to putting pen to paper.  So I poured some spare minutes and an hour or two into the poem here and there until I got to about a fifth draft that I liked.  But that’s not the problem.  Hell, that’s the good news.  The problem is that I’m not sure I’m allowed to write about what my coworker was talking about.  I’m not sure I’m allowed to make the observations and comments I’m making.  The narrator in the world of the poem is a black woman who grew up in poverty; the scene is of a transformative experience she had with her grandmother.  I’m not sure I’m allowed to speak about that of which I don’t know when I write a poem if it tangles up religion, race, and economics.  I don’t know how I would respond if someone asked who the hell I think I am to say what I’m saying.

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Written by seeker70

December 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. You aren’t writing about her and her situation, you are writing about your reaction to her story. In that sense, maybe it is more about you than about her. It is about how you perceive her tale from the background you have come from. I would say write it, tell it, spread it to the world if you are so inspired to spend hours working on it, and blogging about it … if I was her, I would be flattered that you had wrapped so much of yourself around her … everyone wants to feel like what they say, and who they are, is important

    amy

    December 13, 2010 at 11:24 am


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