Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Done With What We've Lost

When you write (as in, label yourself a writer), there is a natural cycle to it. You begin, and the thoughts and the words come, and things go well. You start to have delusions of grandeur. A lot of people stop here, caught up too far in their pleasant daydreaming to go any further, but there are a few who are more ambitious. They are willing to read what they have written, and they read it critically. They read it to peers. They read it aloud, alone in their bedrooms, or to audiences. And they read what others have written, aloud, to themselves, in the quiet, where nothing can stop the flow of better words than their own.

It is at this point that the writer hits a kind of wall. He realizes that everything he writes is absolute garbage. He wants to give up. Many people that saw themselves through the delusional stage stop here, afraid to go on. They perhaps do not know that there is another stage in the cycle.

A stage of bitter, hard-won, small improvement. You listen to what the critics have to say; you make changes. A line or two produce themselves, and they aren't so very bad. So you put something together, and you smile at it, and you start the cycle all over again.

I'm in the middle stage, right now. I've been there before, and I know I'll come out again. But for now, I'm mostly just discouraged. What's not helping is that this self-awareness of the extreme suckage of my writing has bled over to everything else, including academic writing. Including the three papers I have (had?) due this week. So if I sound a little despondent, it's probably because I've been scribbling "You are a piss-poor poet" in my notebook over and over again. It's also probably because a person I considered to be a pretty good friend of mine (if not always a pretty good person), told me that our friendship had been filler until he could find himself better "friends" ("friends" meaning, in this case, "hot girls to date"). Add to that the other items of drama that are constantly fluttering about me, and, well, it's getting to be more than I want to handle.

I honestly can't believe I just admitted that. I might be getting better after all.


Blogger Aaron said...

That is the saddest thing I've read all day. You never come around anymore. All in all, I just sympathized with a wanna-be writer who usually poops out in the everyone-tells-you-that-you-suck phase. That and I'm paranoid so I don't believe anyone who tells me I'm wonderful, so don't try. Sorry to rant...just trying to say that you're awesome and anyone who tells you differently is a moron. By the way, your visiting teacher says you're impossible to get a hold of. I agree.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Miss Hass said...

Your friend is a jerk.

PS--I think you're a fantastic writer. I always look forward to reading what you write.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Corith Malin said...

I'm sorry Bethy, I don't understand why you cannot come to my show. I think you need to make more of an effort! Just kidding. Thanks for the love!

Love ya back,

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I always enjoy everything you write, although I can understand the drive to write it well. The words become your own personal creation, an extension of your personality, so you want them to be as perfect as possible. But please don't beat yourself up so much; it's hard to do good creating then. I also find you fairly impossible to get hold of at times. We love you lots!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Baltazar said...

I would like to see a computer manual writen by Ernest Hemingway. I wonder if it would make any differnce...

8:28 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Fantastic isn't good enough, though. I need to be better, and THAT, is hard to do.

Thanks for the support everyone, even if you just shot me an IM or an e-mail. I like it when people care.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anon. said...

You should read about Virgil and the time frame for his Eclogues. Three years to write ten poems. All because he refused to settle for anything less than perfection. So...don't take ten years? I guess. Wow, that wasn't comforting at all. I probably should have spent more time on this. Sorry.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous vartan avsharyan said...

Just lysten 4 a sek...If you've made your point and people are tyjl ignorant...You bekum MEANER...why?!?...So YOU won't bekum INFEKTED!...Evidently, I haven't read thru to tell you that GOD iz whut matterz when making a point, not the feelingz of the idiom

4:44 PM  

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