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September 2, 2015

Don’t become a writing junkie. Just declare yourself to say “no.”

September 2, 2015

Of course, lately, my mind has been full of rehearsing for “The Fantasticks.” Tonight I forgot a line here and another there. At one point director Gerry Roe asked me to look down at the stage platform and mentally write in big letters the word “why.” My line was “why do I always find you beside that wall?”
Well, I was carrying a pair of hedge clippers, so I scratched a line in the black-painted platform. I told Gerry I could see it. Well, I could see the scratched line. The actor who plays my son, Matt, snickered knowingly when he saw me make the scratch.
Yesterday, my daughter emailed me with some daughterly advice. She is a lawyer, and I’ve often consulted her for free legal help. She always makes the appropriate disclaimers, but she is generous to me. She is a professional writer, and has shown remarkable talent in writing since she was perhaps 5 years old. I am so lucky! She is beautiful, and she is affectionate to me!
Anyway, she wrote to me questioning why I had inserted some pretty blatant partisan politics into one of my blog posts. She noted, correctly, that my post, in large, didn’t have much to do with my opening paragraph in which I made a (vicious) political attack. Then she questioned my ethics in being divisive. She was right on both counts, so I removed my blog post and the Facebook post that was the portal to my blog. She laid into me, gently, like the wonderful daughter that she is. She noted that I spend a good deal of time writing about myself, egotistically. That is apt to reduce readership, she said, diplomatically. Okay, guilty. I don’t want to reduce readership. My popular blog has tens of readers, and I want to keep the numbers up!
I didn’t really apologize to my daughter, but I did agree with her in an answering email.
I’ve been sort of laying low since, looking inward. Thinking about my sins, my petty literary crimes.
Truth is, I don’t have a lot to say. Never did, really. As you know, I haven’t let that stop me. I enjoy writing. No. It is an addiction. I must engage in free writing, when I let my winged thoughts transmit through my arms to my hands and fingers, down to the keyboard, and up on the computer screen.

Recently I saw the book cover to Russell Rowland’s new book, “56 Counties,” his account of traveling all over Montana. I’m thinking, wow. What an inspiring idea. That’s the stuff for a book. I will own that book someday. It will make a great sequel to a book I bought my wife years ago, one simply titled, “Montana Federal Writers’ Project,” written by the otherwise-unemployed for the Works Progress Administration in 1939, edited by Dr. Paul C. Phillips and Dr. H.G. Merriam.
Ed Kemmick has had great ideas like that, such as attending various church services all over Billings, and writing a critical review of each. Have all of the best ideas been taken?

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3 Comments
  1. http://michaelpollan.com/books/a-place-of-my-own/ I was reminded of the writer searching for his voice when I read your blog this a.m. ‘I must engage in free writing, when I let my winged thoughts transmit through my arms to my hands and fingers, down to the keyboard, and up on the computer screen.’

    at UM I had a creative writer-(he was the guy that lead the real estate sit-in in 1968-9). He said “Just keep writing, Virginia.” Which is good advice. I hope to someday find my voice.

    I have been re-inspired to have a blog, but I haven’t posted anything yet…

    • How well I remember the sit-in at Arrow Realty(?) I remember a police officer calmly sprayed mace in my face where I sat, just minding my business. I am still looking for my voice. I read and re-read the “comfort food” writings by Sue Townsend. I like David Sedaris too, but sometimes his stuff is too mean. Then I open up my ongoing diary, a word-processing document that I keep on my computer desktop. My diary is called, “can’t leave it alone.” I just write any old crap that springs to mind. Most of it stays right there in my diary. After at least a day, I look at it again, possibly select a portion, then I attack adjectives. Then I recast the flabby sentences. I like the adjective “very,” because I change that one to “damned.”

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