I received a handful of questions on my poll. A couple were specifically about me and a few were asking for my take on a thing, so I thought I’d address a couple of those today. I have temporarily titled this series AMA (Ask me anything) but that’ll switch super fast if I come up with anything adorable. Ideas welcome. More questions welcome. I’ll include a form for questions in case you don’t want to drop them in the comments.
P.S. I’m not a scientist or plumber or anything that might actually be handy or know stuff. These are just my thoughts as of the day I answer them. Add your thoughts in the comments, or write your own answer to the question and link back here so others can find it, too. I’m sure, all together, we’re probably onto something brilliant.
Can you talk about or comment on those writers who feel like they’re stuck bc they don’t want their writing to be self-indulgent or monologic lala-land? Or because you think your voice is not the one that needs to be amplified right now and so writing seems pointless and helpless and someone else has already ‘covered’ your story? Thank you.– a
I’m very glad you’re thinking about writing.
Not to oversimplify here, but of course your story has a point.
If it sits in you and is there for the retelling, then it has value. And if it has value to you– because human beings are not quite as dissimilar as we’d like to think– it will have value to someone else should you choose to share it. If it helps one person, even if that person is you, then it was worth it, no?
Writing is always a little bit pointless, because it is just a practice. A practice that allows you to occasionally– (or, for some, consistently)– produce an art. After we make the art, well– it doesn’t really belong to us anymore. Letting go is also a practice. Letting go means not worrying if it lands on some people like self-indulgence. The ones who need your medicine will find it.
I guess what I’m saying is that I think it’s a bit impossible that your story has been told by anyone in the same way you would tell it. The world is a big place, and there is room for you.
P.S. Amplification of marginalized writers is super important. You can do your best work to help that by being a reader who pays attention to those things. Check out NerdyBirdy’s post about diversity in reading for more thoughts on that: https://nerdywordybirdy.blog/2020/11/01/actions-intentions-diversity-in-reading/
What do you do when you know you need to write but just cant?– Brian
Sorry you’re feeling a bit stuck. From the details prior to this question in the email, I know by “need to write” you mean– when the words need some place to go (as opposed to needing to meet a deadline like NanoPoblano).
For me, I just start writing even if there’s no possible way it could lead me to what I need to say. So many of my posts start with sentences that are later deleted. Sentences like, “I have a pregnant onion named Rocky Bulboa and I think I need to tape her to the window so she can keep growing. I think it’s kinder than letting her stems fall over and snap on their own weight, but how does a former prisoner trap anything in place without feeling rightful shame?” Or, “I ate a tiny chimichanga today.”
Or whatever. The point is to start somewhere so I warm the page up, so I get comfortable with the pace and word-choices that are on my heart.
I delete the warm-up sentences later, mostly. Reading this back, it doesn’t seem like the most helpful of tips, but it works for me.
Submit your own questions about anything to me! I might use it:
Day 13 of 30