Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Raw & Exposed?

(One of my play nieces told me that it would be cool if I put up a video for each post. Sounded cool. Go support an artist.)

This is just so real. #songstothinkby
I listened to the live version during 
one of my deep blue moods and the song understood

I have just now scrapped the 16th manuscript of my book. It may be more than 16 but that's all I counted among the files on my computer. Yesterday, I got all sad and crazy for half an hour and even deleted the files from the computer. I just know that in a few weeks I'll be like a junkie looking for any crumbs that might be left somewhere.

Whoever said that writing was like giving birth probably knows what the hell they are talking about. I have never given birth but this book is long past due. This book is, seriously, festering inside me. Maybe it's more like a newborn because it's messing with my sleep and my nerves. One night not long ago, I woke up out of a dead sleep to go look at a particular passage that was lurking and re-writing itself in the back of my mind. I damn near broke my neck when I tripped over some slippers next to the bed. Now tell me if that doesn't sound like a mother irrationally worrying that her baby might have stopped breathing.

Maybe I shouldn't even worry about getting the book up on Amazon. Maybe the creation is enough in itself without being seen by anyone else? Maybe, right? (And don't even get me started on the nightmare that is Kindle Direct. I had just kind of gotten used to Create Space.)

So I am giving a lot of thought to just keeping my work to myself. I have wondered if I am even ready to share such a baring of myself. Sometimes I read a few paragraphs of the manuscript and feel mortified, Why?

I can remember reading a particular book where a character was having a sort of sexual awakening. And I kept wondering if that part of the fiction was a bit autobiographical. The character was a bit twisted in their thinking on love and connection and I wondered if the author was creating art or writing a self-portrait. Isn't all fiction a projection of the many personalities that make up the writer?

So when I am writing about something raw and exposed, I know that a reader will be examining me. I should be so lucky.

Anyway, lately, I have been grappling with my introverted nature. Everything that I am is what I am, but some of what I am cripples me. Does that make sense?

I don't know how some people do what they do as artists and creatives. How do you compartmentalize your personality? Like when an actor has on-screen sex, part of me is watching the scene as meant - an overall piece of the story - but part of me is wondering how someone can handle such exposure. (Yeah, I see what I unintentionally did there.) I would make a lousy swinger because I can't imagine having someone observe such a personal and sanctified act. I don't even like to trip in public where people can see it happen.

Have you ever seen someone in such emotional pain that they didn't care about being seen? Don't you think that takes a certain kind of honesty and realness? To just feel what you feel to the point that nothing else matters? Well, I don't lose control like that. I don't know how to. I was taught to be private with my grief but public with my joy. I always thought that was a good thing - a good way to be. It's a type of armor against a world that will exploit that kind of "weakness". But I think I've let that attitude - that emotional prudity (prudishness?) - seep into and infect the writer in me.

(And I apologize for slipping into some Ye Old English kind of language! I didn't even spell today. Grammarly is over here flashing red like DEFCON 5 but I don't have time to do a dictionary check. It's been a rough morning for my brain. Sorry.)

Writing should be, I think, raw and real. I think that as a writer, I shouldn't be afraid to "cry ugly" - you know, get all snotty nosed and red-eyed. The thing is, I have trained myself (or been trained) to hold in so much as a part of society. Now I am finding it really hard to loosen that valve a little bit when I write. And damn, I almost mentioned the "stiff upper lip" thing but I've had just about enough of Britain stalking my brain today...

So. Here I am. I need to find a way to take off my "draws" and do my nude scene. And that is going to be so difficult. If I can't do that, I might not be able to call myself a writer.

I have to go away and think about all of this some more.