I could write about a lot of things tonight. I could write a follow-up to last night’s posting, for example. (As a random aside, I did write to J.M., but have not heard from him.) I could also share a haibun in progress or tell you where I am with a couple revelations in regards to my writing and my life in general.
But I’m not going to do that. Not tonight. I’m more interested in working on something that likely won’t make it on the blog.
So, because I don’t want to not post something, I’ll offer you this little anecdote:
A woman in my fiction workshop at OSU once told me that she’d already written her thesis. It was in her head. All she had to do was get it down on paper.
I wanted to laugh at her. I also wanted to punch her in nose. Instead I just smiled and nodded and walked away.
I learned a lot from other students in my cohort while I was working on my MFA. But I think the only thing I learned from that woman in particular was how not to be pretentious as hell. I try to approach the page humbly, thankful for this connection I have with words, thankful for the voices in my head that ask to be penned.
Tonight I was sifting through some old files, getting ready to write a new haibun. And I suddenly became overwhelmed by thoughts of how long it will take me to complete this project and whether or not I’ll even see it through. Those thoughts were followed by a few minutes of self-loathing, and a little panic. Is it possible that even this project could be abandoned like so many others? Knowing I had to work out of that place quickly, I told myself that, since I am working with old journal entries as found text, I’ve already written Acceptance, and all I have to do is get it down in some sort of cohesive format. All I have to do, really, is write it.
Then I wanted to laugh at myself and punch myself in the nose.
“Dont be like so many writers,” Bukowski tells me. “Don’t be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers,” I hear him say. “Don’t be dull and boring and pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-love.”*
I won’t, Buk. I promise.
*From “so you want to be a writer” by Charles Bukowski