Saturday, April 15, 2006

ONE

One year ago today, I started this blog. A culmination of a lifetime of journaling and writing--I wanted a new venue through which I could share my thoughts and mind. Unlike the freelance work I do, this was instant gratification. My words out there instantly...not waiting months for the issue to come out or the upload to be completed...not, chipping away at the giant marble face of a novel in the hopes of winnowing it down into something recognizable. My very first entry opened with a quote from Anais Nin which is still resonant to me for my work, "We write to taste life twice, once in the moment...and once in retrospection."

I read my own words from a year ago and wonder where my strength came from in the midst of my current creative struggles. Then, I wanted to explore my writing "beyond publication clips" which are so very important when you're getting things going as I am. Moving from "hidden writer locked away in the silence of the journal" to "publishing" was odd for me. I know that so many other people have published SO much more than I have--but, I got an early sense of "culture shock" of what happens when your heart is on your sleeve like that and you move into the public realm. It was a creative "coming out" for me. Suddenly friends and family members who have long viewed me in one role start re-framing their expectations and ideas. When opening my email to find messages from an editor who wants the book I'm floundering with, it cuts with adrenaline and joy at the same time.

Since last April, when I began here--I became the book reviews editor for a funky family magazine (Natural Family), and now have intimate contact with many different facets of the publishing industry. I'm learning so much about PR and media kits and contacts and contracts...I'm having a great affair with the U.S. mail as my review copies arrive and every day starts to feel like a holiday. But, it also makes me think about my own book in very different terms...business-focus narrows in a way that my creative one is obscured. In my first entry, I planned to remain true to this relationship with words. I wrote, "The writing path is littered with the bones of our fallen friends--skeletal fingers still clutching fine pens--spines and collarbones fused with smooth computer wires and glistening microchip fragments." Now, when I look at myself I notice how bony my hands are looking and see the glittering of my technology-welded skin.

After one year, I guess you could say that the blogging keeps me grounded. I get to write about my family, my friends, the slant of light on the grass. Reading other people's blogs, I watch women and creativity and evolution--it inspires me. I won't make any proclamations as I move into my second year here. I will likely continue to lose my creative focus and worry too much about the "publishing" and the "career" (with so many deadlines looming, if anything this will only intensify). But, each entry is another message in a bottle I offer up without regret.

And...I still do not plan to go hungry.
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4 Comments:

Blogger Shannon E. said...

As an aspiring writer, though not in the same sense (I want to be a English Prof and study literary criticism) I really admired this post and where it came from. I am coming out as a reader of your blog and I appreciate your ideals and takes on the writing life. Interesting insight into a new world. Thank you for that.

Shannon (Sentimental)
http://sentimentalbutcrazy.typepad.com/mommas_on_the_edge/

8:04 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Shannon,
Thank you for both "coming out" as a reader and for your kind comment!

9:44 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Happy Blogaversary. I too am so glad I have found your site here. You are a remarkable and talented writer. Your words never cease to carry me away. Thank you.
a.

7:57 PM  
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