Wednesday, March 18, 2015



Writing? Yeah.
Flickr Credit: Caleb Roenigk
I read an account today of visiting a writer's conference.

It makes me uncomfortable just thinking about every visiting one. I get uncomfortable when I let my mom read my own work—what will she think, what will she say, and if I wrote something that doesn't click with our beliefs will she think that it's what I believe, not the character?

And that's kind of the point of a conference. People can take a look at your writing and teach you without being your family and not instilling fears of personal failure in your heart.

But at the same time, I would hate to have to look at someone's face while they read my writing. I don't mind when it's my sister or my best friend—the stuff I show them is exclusive and designed to make them laugh. It isn't real feedback, and I know it. I'm just getting an extra dose of dopamine by accrediting their smiles to my own hard work.

Watching a stranger read my writing would terrify me.

We're reading Ceremony in English right now; Tayo, the Laguna Indian, is trapped with the memories of WWII and the run rises with a story, because stories are sacred, a kind of worship, something that Spider Woman thinks of and delivers through each of us.

Stories are sacred. We can find any kind of use for a story—as a lesson, as a source of entertainment, as toilet paper, a paper hat—but the thing is that stories are also personal. Something I thought of, something I worked on, something I worked on every day for a year because I wanted to make it good and I wanted it to reflect me, in some small way.

There are the writing ideas in all of the folders that I don't touch anymore because I don't want to explore the paths in my soul where those ideas reach.

And there are things that I put down that I want to say, that I need to say, even, but I don't want to see them said.

Stories are sacred but I am only human. And if that means I will avoid interpersonal contact like the plague, or refuse to show my writing to anyone who knows me as a sister first and a writer second, then I guess that's the way it's going to be.

Even if that way may be wrong.

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