Thursday, March 10, 2011

for whatever it's worth


I published a little piece of writing. A little piece of writing about someone else's big piece of writing. About their brilliant, important piece of writing that boasts hard covers and a dust jacket. A lovely, real book filled with beautiful, sublime art which I never even bothered to mention. I wrote 715 words reacting to someone else's luminous, difficult, gorgeous, almost tragic life story.

It is unbelievable really. Astounding. I have clicked that link at least a dozen times. My name in cyberspace. Not the name I sent them, but still...it's my name.

I sent the review to the managing editor on January 18th. By the time I received a message telling me he loved it, the review had already been posted for a day and a half. Had I bothered to look, I would have seen it sitting there, right on my hated Google Reader page. But no, I did not look at all on March 7, 2011.

Until I received the news, I had been writing. Stories. A little journaling. A bit of poetry I used to destroy a perfectly good piece of paper (thank you, Betsy Lerner).

Yesterday I managed to write a journal entry. About the review, of course. Then I worked for an hour on a story about a boy, his sister, the big oak tree in the back yard and what happened there one sunny, bright day. There wasn't a word I deemed worthy of keeping. So I deleted it all and promptly left the house with my children for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

I'll write again. I know I will. But I can't help looking at that damned review and wondering if I will ever publish another thing. Nearly every word I choose seems wrong or repetitive, every adjective superfluous, every verb weak. I am, for the most part, okay with my nouns. Maybe. Well, not all of them.

Is this a crisis of confidence? Crippling fear that from now forward someone will actually read the words I write? Worry that the editor hasn't gotten back to me because he changed his mind about wanting to review more of my work?

Whatever it is, maybe it's on its way out the door. After all, I am getting ready to hit "publish" on this blog post. Maybe. I think.

6 comments:

Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir said...

loved the review! yes, you are experiencing a crisis of confidence. you shouldn't delete that stuff! put it away. look at it in a week or two. can you somehow disable the delete key on your keyboard? :D kidding, but not kidding. i think most people hate the first draft, so if we all hit delete at that point...well, no books.

Kim said...

Anne, you made me laugh!!

Tom Ryan said...

keep writing, Writer :-)

Kim said...

Cleaning my house today and doing laundry in anticipation of spring break for my boys and my lovely girl! But, I will write while they all sleep in this coming week. And I'll try not to delete it this time...

Beth said...

If it makes you feel any better, i often have the same reaction to my own words. Repulsion. Disgust. Desire to . Usually I don't though, and hope you won't either. The only solution is to keep writing and do the best you can on that particular day. Sometimes the quality of the words actually matches your spirit! It was a terrific review. don't get all scared about the next one, just write it! Write some reviews for Goodreads, under your own name, for practice.

Beth said...

That was "desire to 'delete'."