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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.