Sunday, March 31, 2013

I'm Silent Except on Impact

(Another Immersion Journal!)

The thing I have the most trouble with in fiction class is to not ramble. I don't understand where that comes from – and I suppose that's the reason I'm taking that class. To learn why this is my tendency. I feel that, when I write fiction, I try way too hard to get my character and story on the page and sometimes it falls short. Actually – so often it falls short. And it takes so much time to redraft a story once. I can redraft a poem ten times (and still not be done with it) in the amount of time it takes to redraft a short story once. How is it that I can tell a story in the span of a poem, but I need more than 12 double spaced paged to tell a story in a different genre? In Nonfiction I managed to keep it short and simple. I wrote one recently that told the whole story in three and a half pages. (Of course it always could do with revision – but such is the way of writing.)

At first I never thought poetry would be my “thing.” But of course, quickly it is turning out to be so. I'm not concerned what that means for my future. The definite thing is that I will be writing poetry – and the rest of it us uncertain at best. But it's okay. For me, it's not about how many times I get published or how much money I'm going to make. It's always about the art – and so I'm a poet. It's a nice place to be. 

Maybe I'll never change the world or peoples' minds about what poetry can do for a reader. Maybe I won't shift the world back to a time when reading was the thing to do. But I will get published. Be it a few poems in a few abstract journals or a few chapbooks (I mean the chapbook thing is my ultimate goal. I'll make it happen.) And hopefully I can learn enough so that I can be a good fiction writer, too.
Last week, my rhapsodomancy did indeed point out a challenge or two that I would face. And I covered it in my interpretation – and that's exactly what happened. I won't bore with the details – because it's the same each time I feel “not good enough,” and the same steps taken to recover and keep progressing. 

This week, I'll ask a general question: “How will my week go?”

“Each day (I say,
you see) a fall from Earth

to Earth, tiny
collisions giving me voice.

Like a twig
that drops

I'm silent
except on impact.” (Pardi pg. 76. Poem: Seventeen Wings)

It's interesting that this same poem was subject to the rhapsodomancy this week. You know what's coming up this week? As per usual, so much school work. I have a 10-12 page essay due on Thursday where pen has yet to fall to paper. I have ideas though, but if I don't get a move on, they'll clog up my schedule and I'll feel overwhelmed again. And I won't ask for help, even to ask my roommate to take out the trash or to take care of the coffee filter somewhere other than the room trashcan. I'll do it all myself, and try to make it to class anyway on short nights of not-so-great sleep. It's the daily grind for those of us in college. I've the urge to pretend Monday doesn't exist, but I have to work and I should go to class, even though I don't want to. 

Silent, except on impact for this week means I won't be in the business of complaining and telling stories that make my life seem more difficult that it really is – except, of course, when (and this is speculation as well as intuition) someone makes another comment about how Creative Writing majors have it easy. That would be the impact. I will not be silent then. I am getting fed up with peoples' perspective. Because writing is not easy. It's soul shredding – you have to really understand the futility of the path before you, and be humble about it – otherwise you''re... Stephenie Meyer...and well... really nobody wants to be her in terms of ideas. (They just want the fame and fortune, if they're even a little bit serious about writing. Maybe that's just my skewed and biased opinion though. I wanted to be an editor once and still can't fathom how she's made it so big.) Even when things seem incredibly against the odds – you just have to keep writing anyway. 

Another word from family or peer and I'll give them a what-for. I won't be silent then. I suppose that's been bugging me more than it ought to. But that goes back to last week's reading, too – that feeling of not being enough. Sometimes on paths as difficult as this one, the words of others crawl under your skin. It's easy to let them affect you, and hard to realize when it'll do more good to let it go. I'm getting better at being Zen as my friends called it – breathe, meditate, and let the negative go. No use trying to heft around the negativity on purpose. But what has stuck with me, even if I try to completely be rid of it, shows as sudden irritation at comments stabbing at what I do for schoolwork. It's not easy. I don't sleep much and my work is never ending. The Creative Writing part does not invalidate my degree. My path might even be more difficult, because it's a thing I love to do, in spite of the challenges that face me after college is over. I'm tired. Not just because of lack of sleep. But because people are so focused on one frame of mind... “Oh she writes. So obviously her life is much easier than mine. I don't need a degree to prove I can write a story...” 

We'll see then – one day there will be a choice between doing what they love and making money – they've already started along the path for simply making money. We'll see who's actually living as opposed to existing when all is said and done.


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