Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Second Adolescence

The process of becoming a writer seems to make anyone, no matter their age, hypersensitive. No one understands just how hard it is to sit there and sift through your own past for wounds and stick your finger straight in and find out just how much and where it hurts. Or, if not your hurts, those you are feeling for someone else so you can tell their story. Then to add insult to injury, no one thinks it looks like hard work. They all think they could do it, too--and better and faster than you do--if only they had the time.
Then you offer the results to your writing teachers, your fellow students, your treasured readers, and it's just like junior high all over again. You want unconditional love, but no one in junior high can offer you that.
Next, how do I incorporate the various reactions to my pages? Those who like it I dismiss as know-nothings, those who do not as missing my subtle point. Should I change it to please this one or that one? Should it have more plot and less rumination, like R. says? Or get more inside the characters' heads with all the incremental steps put in, as A. says? Am I way too harsh, as many fellow students say? Should I read it into a tape recorder? Will that magically solve all my problems? I am working so hard and it feels like I'm getting nowhere. Spinning my wheels, obsessing on crap, just making everyone else's life miserable as I fail to put two words together with any success. Strangely, people still respond to my personality mostly positively. A few odd looks.

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