December 22, 2003

On Writing And The Struggle And Perfectionism

I know some writers are of the belief that blogging is a distraction from the job of "real writing," and so feel inadequate if they take the time to blog too often. For me, all writing counts. I've kept many volumes of personal journals over the years anyhow, so what better way to hone my skills and make sure I'm writing well than to do so in a more or less public forum? All writing counts, that's my mantra for the struggling or frustrated writer, whoever she may be (or he, but here the default pronouns will be female from now on--my personal strike against diehard right-wingers like William Safire who still subscribe to the anti-female notion that "he" subsumes "she" when any fool can see that "he" is literally subsumed by "she" just as "man" is by "woman" and "male" by "female." So take that, Bill, if you're listening!)

All writing counts. Letters, e-mails, journaling, blogging, all help a writer learn her craft better, so long as she never gives in to the urge to be sloppy or imprecise or less than a perfectionist. I'm aware that perfectionism has gotten a bad rep and worse rap, and perhaps as a general way of living it ain't so healthy, but in writing it is essential. You have to say something carefully, that is taking care to say it with eloquence or at least lucidity, or you are indulging in laziness, the worst writing habit there is. I do not in fact work on SOLO FOR TWO as often as I wish I did, or even used to. But I write something every single damn day. And I take care with everything, even something as insignificant as a Christmas card. It is so important to me, having been in my life through too many periods of un-reason and irrationality and psychosis, to both speak my mind and say what I mean clearly, if not always beautifully. Lucidity in itself is beautiful, to my way of thinking.

And so I undertake this blog, both selfishly, in order to drum up interest for SOLO FOR TWO when it eventually comes out, and because I simply cannot live without the act of setting my thoughts down on paper. But if anyone wants to comment as I go along--and all comments are welcome--I hope she will make sure to keep me in line, should I stray from the lucid path or make what could be considered irrational or unreasonable connections. Well, you remind me, Pam, you're a poet, and poetry doesn't always make sense, does it? Ah, but it does, good poetry does, that is, if you let yourself listen to it with your heart as well as your mind. Poetry demands a leap of faith, as I've written, and I want to write "poetically" in the best sense of that word. But poetry is not simply a bunch of lovely nonsensical phrases thrown together in the vain hope that others will think them "deep." No, poetry "means what it says and says it in common language" as yours truly wrote in a recent poem posted at And I mean that. When I write, whether it be a poem or in SOLO or a blog entry, I may not know beforehand what I want to say--and that's fine, since the best writing comes from the process of discovering precisely that, not in simply knowing all and recording it for posterity--but I make damn sure that when the poem or writing uncovers for me its secret, that I then write and rewrite and re-rewrite it to as near perfection as possible. I may not always succeed, but I do always try.

Lucidity in the face of uncertainty, that what makes you more aware of what you think, how you feel, what you truly believe, and the struggle to get there is a journey of self-discovery, if you can let go and let the process tell you what you need to know.

Here endeth my first blog entry. PW

Posted by szadmin at December 22, 2003 01:48 AM | TrackBack


I may be no expert at determining what connections are irrational or rational: I truly believe that all connections are rational. It may just be difficult to explain how the connection is rational to people who are not of a similar bent of mind. But I do believe it is possible to explain the rationality of all connections to everyone, even as it is possible to explain neuroscience to a child.

However, there are some concepts, like your Grey Crinkled Paper concept, that I think most people will have trouble understanding. You may want to explain your GCP theory in more detail, like specifically giving a real-world example of a telephone game scenario that shows exactly how much the original phrase is changed through translation from person to person.

You might then go on to specifically state exactly how you think the result of the GCP translation might end the world as we know it. You could use a metaphor, like how the invention of the number zero changed the world. Personally, I would like to know the details of how you think the world will change, and what the world will change to (assuming it will still exist in some form).

Furthermore, the savior and Satan references may be misunderstood by most people. It may seem a bit big-headed to most people to say you are savior or Satan. Most people would not recognize this as essentially saying that you could see that you could either work for the good of this world, or you could be essentially not working for the good of this world. Most people believe in only one Savior and Satan, and don't see that every person makes choices every day as to whether they will be a savior or a Satan in this world.

I hope this helps.

Posted by: Gwen at January 2, 2004 05:42 AM

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