Thursday, July 19, 2012

Moody Week, Writing, Nakedness

I’d rather stay at home all day—part of the day. If I could have my way…after I’ve written and read until I’m filled and satisfied, I’d hop in the car and drive, drive down the long tree lined road without a destination and stop when I was ready. I would find a small café, grab a sandwich and an iced tea. I would watch the ice melt, the cubes jingle in the glass after each sip, lifting the cold glass to my lips. I would open my notebook, inhale the hot pastrami warming in the oven before it was placed between two slices of onion bagel. I can smell the onions and the pastrami. I would look out the window, watch the people walk by. I would sit there with my pen in hand staring out the window, lose myself—and after some time has gone by, between bites and sips, I would begin writing, jotting anything that came to my mind and when I was full, when I was satisfied I would take a break and I’d do it all over again. In my reverie, I wouldn’t go to work at my regular job. It wouldn’t exist. I would be working doing something I love and I would make a living doing it. One day I hope to actualize this dream. The dream will have to sustain me.

It’s a moody week of ups and downs for no apparent reason. There are moments of happiness and moments of sadness. I believe the hormone fairy is about due for the cyclic visit and that always adds to my moods. I’ve lost some motivation for cooking and cleaning; although, I did prepare a pork tenderloin with a delicious rub the other night. I haven’t felt inspired to cook much of anything. Tonight though I have the desire to prepare a beef stir-fry—beef sirloin strips soaked in soy sauce, sautéed with green onions, garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, and tomatoes, over a bed of rice. I don’t cook red meat often, but my body is craving the iron.

I overslept this morning. I’m feeling clumsy. I’m in internal cleansing mode. I’ll feel better. The day will be. Plans for camping have been postponed. It may be best. Now I will be able to attend the writer’s group meeting. The four pieces that I chose to submit for July to the group are all pulled from my blog, from the beginnings: Two poems and Two short personal essays. What’s interesting for me to observe is that I feel more nervous than when I posted them here for the first time. I will have to face people in the flesh and listen to their critiques. It definitely adds a very different element than hearing comments on the page alone. I hope that my emotions don’t get the best of me. I don’t mean it in a critical way. But even one comment from a woman in person about how she really liked something I had expressed, my closing lines—I started tearing up because of the tone in her voice. I could tell she connected with it. She understood.

The two personal essays I submitted are very personal and I only hope that my emotions don’t get the better of me. Even when I read one of my essays over, I became emotional. It sometimes takes me by surprise. I’m an emotional creature and this feels very different. I can’t hide my tears or laughter behind the screen. I will be naked, but I know I will be safe. Writers understand these things.

Naked on the page.


keiko amano said...


About nakedness and critique, I don't make eye contact while people are critiquing. If you think this is rude, you can tell them in advance.

I also look at a paper below and act as if I'm writing what they say because what they say is very important which is true. When they are done, I say thank you.

If it's neutral and obvious answer, then I sometimes respond to their questions, but often I don't say anything other than thank you. It's hard not to respond, but it's best most of the times. I'm not there to prove anything, and don't need to explain or defend my work. I just want my writing to be better.

Go as a head of your clan. Think you have a hundred followers which is true because you haven't put effort in marketing yourself.

I'm behind you on this!

Rebb said...

Keiko, I appreciate your comments very much. I read what you said before the meeting and I wanted to let you know it helped a lot! Even though this is my second meeting, it almost felt like my first. When one person was a bit more helpfully critical, I kept my eyes down and my pencil moving. I said thank you. Another member seemed to want me to answer on the spot a question he had on one of my pieces and I reminded him that I don’t have to answer, but that I can take his question for thinking and for consideration. I had your words in my head to give me the boost I needed to realize that I don’t need to explain or defend my writing, etc. So thank you, Keiko. Aside from the helpful criticism, one person got emotional talking about one of my pieces and that meant a lot that he felt the emotion in my piece. It made me emotional for a moment, but I was ok. The other group members are really good at critiquing. I don’t feel as good as them at it. I suppose with more practice and the more I get to know their writing, it will get easier. I find it challenging, especially if everyone has already said most of what there is to say. But we’re all supposed to say something. Sometimes I don’t have much reaction and it’s hard to pull things out. I’m also finding that dealing with my past pieces that are memoir like is exhausting. I think next time I will submit my travel piece to the group. And as Vincent suggested, I may try to make it into a short story.

Thanks for your support, Keiko!

jiturajgor said...

I like this post Rebb, especially the last paragraph and I would like to say I can identify myself with those emotions attached with our own writing. Me too become emotional while re-reading some of my writings.I noticed that that kind of writing always touches readers heart and generates more comments.Anyway,I feel we should not write thinking 'critic's opinion ' in our mind.
KEIKO, you gave a good solution.

Rebb said...

Thank you, Jitu. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I agree that we should not think of 'critics opinion' in our mind. The whole process always keeps me on my toes. Sometimes I write without worry and other times, I start to think too much, and I become paralysed.

Yes, Keiko's tips are great!

Thanks for visiting, Jitu.

keiko amano said...

Rebb and Jitu,

I appreciate your comments!

I like that Jitu pointed out the good side to emotional critique. Isn't that so true? More we get such comments, better for the book we create!