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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sometimes I Feel Like a Meaningless Scribe

Dear Diary:

I've decided to name this entry: Sometimes I Feel Like a Meaningless Scribe. Damn, I love that title! It’s loosely based upon the song “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.” It’s a Jazz classic, covered by so many greats, though, for my money, Jimmy Scott does the most heart-wrenching version of it. But I digress.

Focus! Focus! Focus, damn it!

It’s been another one of THOSE days. You know, the usual shit: editors and agents of indifference, the terse impersonal rejection slips, people not feeling me… yanno, that usual shit.

No. I have no lingering questions inside my soul about whether I was born to be a writer. It’s one of the few things on this planet that I KNOW for sure. But my lingering question so often becomes: have I chosen the right medium?

Diary, I am a very private person, by nature. You know this. I am that quintessential Still Waters Run Deep kinda cat. Feelings come sweeping in like tides, swelling and rolling in massive waves inside me sometimes, and I tend to express them in a Universal way. That’s my style, my thing, I guess.

The other day my close friend K told me that I “don’t write about who I am."

To that, I said: "DAMN LIE!"

Maybe I don’t give a detailed accounting of all my emotional bowel movements, but everything I write is about WHO I am, or what I feel, or what I question. That's REAL! Everything I write is about what makes my heart beat faster, or gives me a chill, or breaks my face, or hurts my spirit, or fundamentally fulfills me. And truthfully, I don’t know any other way to be.

Still, Sometimes I Feel Like a Meaningless Scribe.

Nakedness from me makes some people uncomfortable.

Maybe those people are essentially prudes.

Honesty from me makes some people uneasy.

Maybe those people need to get real with themselves…

Sometimes I feel Like a Meaningless Scribe.

Dear Diary:

Guess what? I’ve been rejected again. It’s okay to mock me. I’ve been mocked before. Perhaps it’s Mocking Season. The thing is, I spend all this time writing, editing, rewriting, reediting, and trying my level best to create something that’s close to perfection. Not perfect. Writing is never perfect… but I aim for as close as I can humanly get. And then… I breeeeeeeathe... because I’m done, and breeeeeeeathing is so damn necessary.

I’ve prayed. I’ve purged. I’ve vented. It’s out of me!

Now, comes that hard part: putting a few choice words on paper in the form of a query letter that some invisible stranger will read and hopefully become intrigued enough to what to read more.

Why? Because a Voice, perhaps the whisper of a muse, or perhaps God’s Voice whispered to me, and I listened and I took these copious notes. I’ve slaved and spent night and day, endless hours upon the lonely stage my creativity, writing down what I see, and what I hear, and what I feel and what I think and what I dream. And I want to, and I need to, and I must share these things with the world. And I think, just maybe the world needs to read these things to better understand its own humanity. That’s it. That’s all.

Diary, today arrived with yet another rejection slip… and it feels as if they’ve flushed me, and my words, my thoughts, my dreams and my meaning down their cyber toilet, like a pile of worthless feces. I mean, WTF? Shame on them!

Diary, you KNOW, I’ll never be FELT in a letter that takes 30 seconds to read. I am not and have never been anyone’s fast-food writer. I’m an ARTIST, damn it! The Creator made me this way: all strange and odd and talented and beautiful and ugly and deep and joyous and sad and real... and human.

Diary, it saddens me that people choose not to spend enough *quality* time to FEEL me and absorb what I bring. They don’t bother to open the museum doors of my mind, or walk through the hallways and down the corridor of my heart. And few who do, they didn’t come to stay, to check the art, to hear the sounds, to read the text, or to smoke my verbal herb.

What is it about these words I write? Do they terrify? Does The Truth terrify? Then just maybe people need to be terrified.

Diary, if writing were cuisine, I offer soul food. Maybe for some, it’s hard to chew. Perhaps, for some, it’s an acquired taste. I’ve no doubt the flavor might leave a symphony on the tongue. But they’ve got to open their damn mouths (or their minds) and savor the shit.

Feel me? Of course, YOU do. That’s never been the prob.

Oh, Diary. Sometimes I feel like a Meaningless Scribe.

Or sometimes it seems people would like to make a scribe feel that way.

You see this rant is about Art and Craft and Time and Care and the Meaning of Writing… of penning something Real, from the soul… and it appears some agents and editors and people will never get it.

That’s sad to me. That’s fucking tragic, in fact. I think I’ll pray for those people.

See, I have no lingering question inside my soul of whether I was born to be a writer.

It’s one of the few things on this planet that I KNOW for sure. But so often my lingering question becomes, whether or not I’ve chosen the right medium. Today, Dear Diary, I find myself wondering if I'm preaching to the wrong choir.




becomingkate said...

It's got to be tough, getting those rejection letters. I like to write in my blog, and the odd short story. When I was little I REALLY wanted to be a writer. But I am too sensitive for rejection, and I think that my type of writing is only appreciated by a few.
I have to give you credit!

Marvin D. Wilson said...

"this rant is about Art and Craft and Time and Care and the Meaning of Writing… of penning something Real, from the soul…"

And that you do, brother man. Don't ever stop, never be dissuaded, let not the pink slips of the fucking idiots who have no ears to hear daunt you even for a second.

Life is too precious, the WORD too impossible to say or write in even an infinitesimal worthy measure of its magnitude if we hesitate for even an instant.

Jimmy said...

I have often felt this way, I wonder why those around me don't get it?

But then a remember all I can control is myself and my actions, and I definately can't control anyone else.

The sad part is is that a lot of them can't control themselves either.

Where does one go from there?

Lovebabz said...

Keep writing.

Cactus Annie said...

When I read your post, I felt ... I don't know what exactly I felt. I know the Bluebird sits on the branch outside. I know you will continue to write, to strive.

That's All.

Keith said...

This is some powerful stuff. I feel you ,believe me..It seems like we are all traveling the same road, on the same journey. I think that's why when I used to write before, I seldom showed anything to anyone..I would just write it and file it away in folders. I was way too sensitive..
Too Sensitive to face rejection.

To be a creative writer or artist of any type you have to be sensitive, you have to be able to draw feelings out of things that others can't. Rejection has never been something that I could deal with well. Still we have to keep on pushing..It's our job to make those love us who will not. That's really why we write. To share....

And I could go on, but all I'm really trying to say is-

I understand.

CurvyGurl said...

Lin, I want to encourage you to keep doin' what you do so well. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to go through the whole process, but I'm confident that the right publisher and deal will present itself sooner than expected...along with the recognition and success that such a deeply talented and inspirational scribe like you has earned.

Keep your head up, bro, everything will work out. Consider this a time of preparation for the big prize. Much love!

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

D-Place said...

That post was art in itself! You know everybody doesn't like broccoli and everybody probably doesn't like your writing. Some acquire the taste for broccoli because they know it's good for them. When those who don't understand take the time they'll also acquire a taste for the art that is in the musuem of your mind as well. All things happen in time when you belive.

Chuma a.k.a. Christopher Hicks-Marshall said...

I totally understand what you are going through, which is why I started my own publishing company. Instead of waiting for someone to tell me no, I said yes to myself. I have something I want to share with you. Expect an email from me. Sending you good love and vibrations! P.S. I believe you are one of our greatest writers of this era, to be honest. I hope this helps.

Green said...

Oh man!!!!
I absolutely love ur writing. I think its too cool when a man can express something so complex in words. I love this post...

Just know that there are going to be so many rejections before acceptance. Even the greats got rejected. I know its not a good feeling, but always remember..."Winter never fails to turn into Spring"

KAMAI said...

i feel ya, kiddo.
but, i recall a stephen king quote from wayyy back in the day. when commenting on the inevitable question about his motivation; WHY he writes; king said, "the only TRUE answer to that is because i HAVE to. but no one wants to hear that answer."
i know it's frustrating, hell! maddening @ times. but your writing is YOU. your song. the worth of the song is inherent. & yours is a rare & wonderful voice, my friend.
be chilly, breathe....breathe again. it will all come....& if it doesn't? you still have your SONG. ♥

Mizrepresent said...

Nothing you ever write or do is meaningless...if you put your heart into it. WE, writers often reach this point when we have poured out our soul into a manuscript and editors and agents either rip it apart or want someting light, or something heavier or something that even themselves can't describe. WE don't write cookie-cutter fiction, or scandalous, untruthful non-fiction. Hold onto your muse/mule my brother...your time is coming!

Charli said...

Hey... I'm new around here. I like your blog, your writing.

Also, yes, the truth is fucking terrifying. And terror is good for the soul - at least, good for the artist's soul.

joaquin carvel said...

yep - totally feel this one.

you may be a struggling scribe, or a hungry scribe, or a frustrated scribe. but meaningless? probably to the 19 year old interns who read 85% of all submissions while texting their friends about where they woke up that morning or that guy in that movie with the thing on his face.

but they can't give you meaning anyway. neither can i. you either have it or you don't.

and you, friend, have it. stacks of it.

we know it. you know it. as soon as they figure out a way to market it, they'll finally admit it too.

Teri said...

I came upon your blog by way of three ginger are keeping me up, reading and profoundly impressed.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance

SarahA said...

But I think when such happens it only makes one stronger!