Monday, November 22, 2010

From Callow to Crotchety

You can tell how much progress I'm making on the book by the number of blog posts per week. Lots of posts means I'm either stuck or taking a break. In this particular instance, I'm a little bit stuck and halfway taking a break.

The last time I was stuck the problems revolved around the structure of the book and drawing lines around the story. Thoughtful comments from several readers clarified the issues for me. I tackled the revisions with a newly found clarity of purpose and cranked out another 150 or so pages on top of what I'd already written.

For me, feedback is an essential part of the writing process. Reactions are helpful for lots of different reasons. The current draft is now in the hands of several gracious readers. I'm taking a break from writing to allow time for them to get through the tome over the long Thanksgiving weekend. If you're interested in reading let me know and I'll add you to my list for the next "release".

To refresh my memory, before adding another word I absolutely must read through my old journals. I've mentioned that my journals go all the way back to 1982 and that I've kept them more or less consistently ever since. This is the first time I've ever had reason to read back through them.

Turns out, there's a reason I've never gone back to read them. With few exceptions the entries are highly repetitive, profoundly dull and rarely useful. Having now read through 1988, frankly I don't know how much more I can take.

By then I was 30 years old and had mostly settled down. Aside from anything that might happen in the future, the worst years of my life were behind me. Compared with most of the previous decade anyway, there just wasn't much to write about.

This fact, however, did not deter me. Writing in my journal was often a way to kill time. I apparently had plenty of time as some of the entries are quite long.

Now I'm reading about the early years with my first partner. Most entries go on and on about how deeply in love we were, how we were going to be together forever and how I trusted him. Reading it today makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

We were together for more than a decade. It's going to take a while to make it through all those weekly entries. I'd skip, but every now and then I find a little gem that sparks a memory of something for the book.

The things we do for our art. Suffering through the meandering ramblings of a callow and delusional 30-something is enough to make anyone...

The Crotchety Old Man

1 comment:

CathyB said...

If you're adding new readers to your book in progress, I'd love to put my name on the list. Either way, I'll buy myself a copy of it when it is published. I can't wait to read it!

Hey! I got my first "publishing" recently. A lady in my town has started publishing a quarterly (free) small magazine-like thing that centers around life in the south, and more specifically, our little town. It's called "Sweet Tea". She published one of my blog entries about the holiday season. Distribution covers several counties, so i have no doubt that I shall soon be *discovered*. Watch for me on Oprah. (Scratch that, I'm not an Oprah fan.) Barbara Walters, then. ha.

hope you are getting your lists compiled and your holiday chores done. i tell ya, since falling in LOVE, i seem to get a whole lot of nothing done these days. i had forgotten what it feels like (wonderful!) to be in a good, healthy relationship. maybe i'll come up for air soon and get back to some semblance of normalcy.

hope you have a great weekend!

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