- Annie Dillard and the Writing Life by Alexander Chee
- Becoming a Writer by Junot Diaz
- Why I Write by Stephen Elliott
- I don’t know much about technicalities of writing. I looked up gerunds while reading the Chee piece. I have to think twice about what adverbs are and cannot diagram a sentence. I remember my sixth grade English classroom and taking my turn at the board to make marks around sentences. I even remember that it wasn’t very difficult. I just don’t remember what any of it means. I could fix this. I could read some books about it.
- Writers write. Usually from an early age writers write out their hopes and fears. Writers write no matter what. It is a persistence compulsion. This is not me. I wish this was me.
- When I read about technical business of writing (narrative voice, structure, moving time) I lose enjoyment of reading.
- When I try to think of a story I’m blank. Maybe I could write non-fiction. I like to research things. I’m not very good at follow-through. I’ve started to write out details and results from my hunts for assorted information. Most of those posts never make it past draft status. Does anyone want to know what I learned about making pettiskirts (with source links)? Maybe when I get some pictures of my attempts I’ll fill it out with that info.
I think my craving to “be a writer” is just another way I’m looking for complements. I have sometimes been casually praised for my writing and I want more. I want to turn a slight talent into a gift, into genius. Freshman year my teacher Peter told me he liked one little swirl on a painted sketch for a project in Drawing 101. I became a painting major on the strength of the one complement. (This is a slight exaggeration, but still true. I was disillusioned by Graphic Design and the Photography department was a political nightmare. There was also no portfolio was required to become a painting major. They took anyone.)
What I want is to be a great writer without putting in the work that must be done to get there. Once again reality puts the damper on desire. THPTPTH!*
So where does that leave me? Same place I started but with a belly-lint filled post on writing. I’ll continue to live vicariously through Karen (You rock star!) and write here on Chicken Butt and live my life. I know my writing has improved since I started this blog. I don’t think I slip into a writerly voice anymore. I could still use a better editor than myself but who couldn't?
Oh, and go read the linked essays above if you haven’t done so. Especially the first and third.
*This is a Bill The Cat style razzberry. Calvin & Hobbes style adds a B: THBPBPTHPT!