Saturday, March 16, 2013

To Quote Ernest Hemingway: "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. "

It's not often that I have to stare directly into eyes of my less-than-awesome self. Maybe because I'm just that awesome.

But, I ran headlong into one of my flaws yesterday morning and I'm still recuperating.

I am the worst writer in the history of the universe.

The worst.

Last Thursday night, I printed out a copy of one of my autobiographical pieces to read through, tweak here and there before sending it off to a couple of magazines. I considered just sending it as is without even a cursory read-through, but I figured that since I haven't looked at it in a while, I should glance through it for that stray typo or maybe a few diction changes. 

After teaching for 12 hours, even the smallest glitch in writing would escape my view. So, first thing Friday morning---a belly full of coffee and a mind anticipating a weekend of probably being the only sober person in the world--I perched at my podium thinking that one class' worth of SSR time would be more than enough time for editing. I'll just handle it during 1st period while my mind is still sharp and my students haven't had much of a chance to radiate my brain cells.

OMG. By the time 5th period's SSR time was completed, I was balled up in the corner, sobbing.

My piece is a disaster: It has no transitions, strays off topic, has about as much variety of language as Green Eggs and Ham minus the rhetorical intent, no climax, and inane reflection (which does not bode well in an autobiographical piece).

Holy shit. Why did I even think at one time that this piece was "finished"? Instead up uploading it onto Kindle and Nook, I should have been downloading it into the toilet. 

Rolling out of bed this morning, I looked forward to a day of trying to find a lifeline in the piece. Slight revision to my weekend plans: I will NOT be the only sober person in the world. From now on, I AM going to read over my writing Thursday nights after teaching for twelve hours and I'm gonna add a bottle of wine to my perception. Clarity is for the talented.

But, as I was shuffling around my office this morning, I glanced at the copy of one of the Shades of Grey books a friend loaned me for when I need a good laugh, and thought, "I'm gonna be just fine."

All you slaves to the quill, please comment on times when you doubted your talent and how you revived it without becoming alcoholics or drug addicts.

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