I stopped carrying my Mensa card in my wallet today. Along with my expired Emergency Nurses Association card, my expired PTA membership card, and a few random gift debit cards with dollar-or-so balances left on them, and four hundred or so bank and fast food receipts. "Simplify," say the eight-inch capitals on the big sign over my fireplace. Well, okay then. Starting now, I vow to always have my Moleskine or at least a stack of index cards or a folded piece of paper within arm's reach, so that when that perfect sentence hits me from outta nowhere, I can get it down. So that when a great idea for a short story flashes through my brain, I can capture it before it dissipates into the ether. So that whenever I feel like I need that moment of therapy, I snag the thought before it goes into the place where stuff like that gets bottled up. Channel it, if you will. There's a song that's me in more ways than I care to think about, it's called "Breathe" by a gal name of Anna Nalick, and one of the verses goes like yay:
2 a.m. and I'm still awake writing this song,
if I get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me,
threatening the life it belongs to
and I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
'cause these words are my diary screaming out loud
and I know that you'll use them however you want to
Anyhoo. I did get a chunk of writing done last night, compliments of a dark mood, the aforementioned muse, and my trusty Bigelow vanilla caramel tea (always the brew of choice for my writer's mind). And the more I think about it, the more I write, the more I read my own writing, I really am growing more comfortable with my own voice. No longer am I trying to imitate the styles of writers I appreciate, but this stuff is really my own and it feels good. Whether anybody out there thinks it's any good remains to be seen - because honestly the only two people who have read most of what I've written in this voice are my friend T and my brother, as part of a really cool writing group we called ourselves for a while.
So. The big part. Trying to learn from this scrawny-ass sage, I've decided to be a little more bold about letting people read my work. And I'm not talking about the pablum, the slowly-growing list of publication credits I'm working on in the local magazine scene, because those articles are very, very safe. (shameless self-promotion: look on page 2 for the latest ). Nope, I'm talking the guts, the soul, the backbone of everything I hold dear and quiet and sacred for fear of somebody telling me it sucks. If it sucks, I need to be told it sucks or I'll never learn to write something that doesn't suck. And who knows, somebody out there might enjoy it. And I will at least have the satisfaction of knowing other eyes have passed over it - it does me no good to have eight books worth of writing in a drawer if it never sees the light of day.
Blogosphere, you heard it here first - my plan is to type up some of my stuff (yes, in all my innate geekiness, I still do the largest part of my fiction writing longhand in plain old spiral bound notebooks or legal pads) and then post it on another blog which I initially started with the intent of doing just that. When I've got a couple of things posted, I'll throw a link out there, and at that time I'll ask for, even beg for, honest feedback.
My tea's gettin' cold, and a batch of impromptu brown sugar shortbread fresh from the oven. Writin' time, baby.