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'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.