Friday, October 8, 2010

A Thousand Starts: Writing Again

Okay, not a thousand. Maybe ten. I have a tiny little problem with hyperbole.

I've spent the majority of my day working on blog entries. This is the only one I'm publishing today. Pathetic.

I have made progress on probably ten blog entries today, but before I hit "publish post", I've either lost interest, gotten distracted, or been unhappy with something about the structure or voice. I've critiqued too many short stories and magazine articles to just let it go when I can see that the entry would be stronger if I pulled the damn thing apart and pieced it back together a different way.

It feels like I'm writing dozens of short stories. I guess I am. They're just not fiction. Well. It's confusing, isn't it? If I'm describing a phone sex session as if those things really happened (Inner Slut: for example: "With our eyes locked, I got him nice and slick with my mouth, then mounted him slowly") (Inner Commentator: Why, yes, that was gratuitous, but the blog needed at least one sexy thing today), then am I really writing what happened, or a semi-fictionalized version of what I remember?

A writing professor told us, "The character may dress like your mother, cook like your mother, and say things your mother has said, but she's not your mother. She's a character, with a will of her own. However, you'll never convince your mother it's not her."

I think that same concept holds true of this blog, too. I'm writing from my memory of a call, not a joint effort between me and the caller. The retelling is colored by my perspective. I only include details which help make my point (Inner Editor: ... assuming you have one. Speaking of which...) (Inner Storyteller: Bitch, you are not helping here!). A memoir is only partially about the events which occur, but mostly it is about how the stories are chosen to be told.

I love feeling like a writer again with this blog. I am enjoying the parts of me that are stimulated and encouraged by this writing. And I love the feedback loop of callers-to-blog-to-callers so so so so much.

Before today, writing this blog felt like all the fun parts of being a writer. Today, I can feel the work part of writing again, which feels good in a different way, like I'm rebuilding muscles that I used to have, restoring a workshop so all my tools are available again.

Or, if we turn down the volume on the self-aggrandizement dial: maybe I just have a short attention span today.

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