Friday, October 1, 2010


Maybe I've said this before, but traveling destroys my writing. I have rarely produced anything but drek away from home. I try to replicate my schedule, up early, quiet cup of tea--now that I've given up coffee--and my journal, three pages minimum. Nada, yuk, spewed words about as exciting as mush without milk and sugar. This morning I forced an attempt at a new poem, but I don't trust it. Always in the back of my mind, or maybe it's the side (what shape is a mind anyway?) I think I will be interrupted, distracted, judged for sitting there scribbling. Where does this come from? My family knows I write. I publish, read in public, have a business card that says "Writer." So why this urge to hide while I create?

Maybe the muse, whoever he/she is, is jealous of other people who might want my attention. Or this unease comes from all those years when I did not claim my own creativity, hid my writing for fear of rejection or criticism, wrote after the family was sound asleep, so as not to feel that I was cheating my children of my attention. I wrote because I had to, still do, but I didn't believe that I had the right to do something that had no effect on the well being of those I loved and for whom I felt responsible. Writing has earned me very little money over the years, and in a world where value mostly means financial success, I have had to defend to myself the business of poetry and prose. Silly, I know. Because I know the excitement, insight, and pleasure that writing, mine and others', gives me. But I still don't see myself producing work that matters when I feel that someone might be watching the messy, lusterless process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Messy, OK. Lusterless? A little harsh? Perhaps--to those who care about writing--it feels too intimate to attempt in public, the way we tend to avert our eyes when we notice a couple being a little over the top in the park.

But Harlan Ellison used to (perhaps still does) write complete stories in the lobby of hotels at conventions, and plenty of writers crank out page after page in a booth in their favorite watering hole (Hemingway and Mike Royko come to mind), so maybe they are/were exhibitionists?