I've been on a roll lately. One silly post after another. But not today. Today is the day that I pledge to purge my writing woe's.
I recently joined a neurotic group called THE INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP and according to the guidelines, I must dedicate this day, the first Wednesday of the month, to releasing my deepest, darkest writing fears and to support other writers who are experiencing the same.
None of this sounds like fun to me so I'll keep it short.
I love to write.
I can't find my car keys or my sunglasses, but I know where my english assignments are from 1976.
I have all my poems, short stories and journals from my youth - even a list of every boy I ever kissed (along with a cryptic rating system).
What I don't have is a college degree. Or any published work. And worse, no interest in reading.
How do you become a writer if you don't read?
Because my goal has always been to write a book, I recently hired an editor and began submitting my work. That didn't go well. I never got beyond the first paragraph of chapter one. Why? (besides the obvious fact that I don't like to be told what to do). Because her corrections killed what I felt was my natural flow. And without that, I have nothing.
To be precise, this is what I started out with: (from a blog post titled The 50 YEAR ITCH)
It is the first Friday of summer, the start of our 50th year. I am winding down the work week on the office front porch. My father sits in his sturdy, classic white, high-backed rocking chair - afraid to rock, and I stand beside him too uncomfortable to sit. The depth of our conversation is narrowing.
My insecurities assure me that this is not smart enough so I submit this:
It is the first taste of summer, when placid winds and a tepid sun are in perfect balance. Together on the office front porch, my father sits in his hardwood, classic white, high-backed rocking chair too afraid to rock, and I stand beside him too irritated to sit. The depth of our conversations is narrowing.
And these are the proposed changes:
Include in the opening paragraph a description of the type of the company so that you do not have to describe it in the following paragraph.
So I submit this:
It is the first taste of summer, when placid winds and a tepid sun are in perfect balance. Together on the office front porch, decompressing from a work week full of security breaches, alarm malfunctions and schedule changes – typical hiccups associated with running a private security guard agency - my father sits in his hardwood, classic white, high-backed rocking chair too afraid to rock, and I stand beside him too aggravated to sit. The depth of our conversations is narrowing.
I revised that in May. I haven't submitted a word since. Why? Because that isn't my voice.
I don't know how to make corrections and still keep my voice.
Does anyone know how you do that?
PLEASE don't suggest I read a book. That will only piss me off. And yes, I've read Writing the Natural Way, Naked, Drunk and Writing, Writing Down the Bones, Walking on Alligators... etc, etc, etc.
I promise to return to my natural funny self tomorrow. Or the next day. Or by Friday at the latest.
Right now, I'm heading to a bar.
I just heard that I lost another friend - a former flame (this is my second). 55 years old. I referenced him on Monday, when I wrote JUST SAY NO. He was the boyfriend that insulted my sisters dog.
Although we had not seen each other since 1982, we wrote to each other on and off for 37 years. He was a badass with baby blue eyes. Here's to you Newhart. Wherever you go, show them who's boss!