What I’ve Learned

This semi-hiatus has not afforded me much more time than I had before taking it.  One thing that has improved is the state of my home, but I can’t be too specific on that just yet.

I have learned a few things, and here they are, in no particular order:

1. There’s a reason writers say, “Write every day.”  It doesn’t take long for the brain to atrophy, and it seems the more I write, the more ideas I have for writing.  So I’m sorry to say it, dear family, but it looks like in order to write more I’m going to have to spend more time writing. I’ll miss you! Mostly.  And no, silly, I don’t mean you. I mean the other ones.

2. I get much validation from having my writing “out there” for others’ scrutiny and, dare I say it? I shall indeed: praise. I write for praise. It’s like working for food, only with less tangible reward. And since I haven’t been writing as much public material, I’ve suffered a downswing in my self-esteem. Yes, I realize this is unhealthy, but I have been amused and horrified at my desperation for compliments, and at least the experience has made me more aware of it. It is so very ugly when viewed on the page, in comment threads, that I intend to give it up much like I did smoking. By which I mean, quitting over and over only to start up again and then finally kicking but still dreaming about the day when I am close to death and will get to pick it up again.  Only thirty-two years to go.

3. I hate people even more than I suspected.

4. I don’t mean you, silly. I mean those other people.

5. Why I learned number three by not writing, I’m not certain, but I imagine it has to do with going to New Jersey. I’ll have to explore this more in the future.

6. GPS devices are useless. See, while we were on the road to New Jersey, I explained to four year old Ethan how they work. On our way back, in a coffee crisis, I typed in Starbucks and found the one closest to our route. When we arrived where the GPS said it would be, however, we were essentially in the middle of a field of tall grasses that looked nothing like dark, French roasted coffee. At that point, Ethan piped up from the back seat:

“That’s because there’s no such thing as a thing in space that goes around and around the planet and takes pictures and sends a signal to the GPS device! They’re not real.”

So this has been quite the educational experience for me.

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13 Responses to “What I’ve Learned”

  1. Ah yes, I know what you mean. The joys of immediate gratification – they’re so immediate and so gratifying. It’s hard to resist. And while I’m sure the GOF has thoughts on that subject, I am glad to see you shall continue to forge ahead. I think that ultimately there’s still no greater satisfaction gained then having finished the bigger project. My experience with the series that I have in development has reminded me of that. Two years of working… Long, long, lonely bouts of being by myself and in my head, followed by hyper critical notes. Not once did I hear – “you’re hilarious” but plenty of “you need to rewrite this entirely.” But it has been worth it. (I know that you know all this, I’m just saying it again because I tend to ramble.) One more thing, and I know this to be true: You have what it takes. I’ve read all your good work in The “Creative Work” sidebar – and it’s fabulous. Keep on writing, sister.

    • Wow. I suppose I should muster up more than that after your glowing review of my writing. Surely I can think of something better.

      Kazowie!

      Ok, no, that doesn’t work either.

      How about this: I’m grateful for your confidence. It helps to have a cheerleading section, no matter the size. See? Size doesn’t matter. We all need someone to tell us we’re hilarious, or crazy, or moving, or poetic, or biological, or whatever effect we’re going for. I hope I can hear that voice in my head when I share a “bigger project.” It also heartens me to know you’ve worked for two years and aren’t finished. I imagine with my family obligations and the difficulty of working with small (and big) children around, on top of starting to home school next year, it should only take me about four times that long. I won’t even be fifty yet! Hallelujah!

      So I will keep on, brother. Until the cows come home, until Mildred wins her lawsuit and Hamish goes under, until FJ quits pretending he’s a biologist and starts writing full time.

      And when I’m finished, perhaps we can all work on a project together, spurring each other on. And then we’ll all be rich and famous and live happily ever after.

      What? What’s that you say?? I can’t hear you! Lalalalalalalala…

      • Oh, I’m very fond of Kazowie! In fact I’m going to use it in conversation with my lovely friend, Susan, later tonight.

        She’ll say, “How are you, pal?”

        I’ll say “I’m Kazowie”

        More later… Until then, I leave you with a pale winkie.

        😉

  2. “I hate people even more than I suspected.”

    I suspected as much.

  3. So happy to have you back babe!! I agree whole heartedly about the crazy brain atrophy thing. Once in a while I’ll get ahead of my blog and have anywhere from 3 to 5 posts ahead of time, always thinking how I’ve got to stay ahead and keep it going. Then I relax and go to the beach and after 4 or so days I start to panic because now I can’t think of anything, and anything I do think of sucks, it’s not funny, I need to start over. Then before I know it my cushion is gone. –See other people ARE weirder than you!!

    You are dead on with your intuition about NJ being the cause of your newly rediscovered hate of people. There are a few places that can do that to a person, and anywhere in NJ (other than Stone Harbor, and some other beach towns) certainly qualifies. Pittsburgh does the same thing to me. There are so many positives, STEELERS, PENS, PITT, some great people, plus the city is now chock full of cutting edge tech jobs, but most of the people are just such shit. In so many ways nothing changes. I’m sorry, I guess I had that on my mind and it slipped out now. I wonder what the ghost of Freud would say about this.

    We all need praise; so thank God that you are a talented, gifted, witty, funny writer, and a beautiful, awesome woman!!

  4. I took alantru’s advice and read one of the stories on your sidebar. Most enjoyable, will read more on my next visit….

    hey are you and FJ and alantru all related? or is alantru related to Ram?

  5. It only seems like yesterday that we were all reminding you of how awesome you are…have you forgotten already?? Insert laugh track here

    Honestly, I read alot and I read alot of well-written stuff, I also read your blog. Why would I do that? I am a busy guy right now and can hardly devote any meaningful time to my blog, but I still read your writing. Why would I do that—because you put me on your blogroll, NO, because you have commented on my blog, NO. I read your writing because I like it, end of story, history, archives, fini.

    So write, and we’ll read and tell you what we think. And to mark the occasion, I will use my first smilie…here goes. Now I am off to the merkinless bush for four days, but I’ll be reading.

    8)

    • I know, FJ. I’m lame like that. It’s an issue I’m working very hard on, and I meant what I said about how unattractive I see it is, when I read it all out there and public like this. It makes me look pathetic.

      I started this blog as a test. I always thought I was good at writing, but I was afraid of failing at it, so I never really tried to do anything with it. Now here I am.

      I’ll knit you a merkin for your bush. For the next trip out. Good luck, godspeed, and all that rot.

      P.S. I’m honored to have your first smilie, and it has sunglasses! Does it have a nose screw, too?

  6. lovely! I write for the same reasons, sort of. A lot of it is to make sure that i exist (long story!) but the other part is to share my experiences in life with others that are on the same path! Plus, timmy says people like reading what i write and i like reading what they like!

    Everyone i comment on, i like because reading their blobs makes me happy!

    So keep writing!

    Bob

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