Creative corner

    barefooted's picture

    Just For Me

    I spent a few hours late this afternoon writing a piece for this space. Unfortunately, something happened and it disappeared. I was frustrated, irritated and downright exasperated. My first thought was that it had been a complete waste of time, hours spent for no reason whatsoever. Well, I was wrong. Chances are good that it wasn't particularly worth reading, but that's not the point. I wrote it because I wanted to write, not because I wanted to be read. There's a difference, you know.

    if you love to write, it's one of the very best ways to spend time with yourself. When I was a young girl, I wrote poetry. I filled notebooks with nonsensical rhymes and emotional upheavals that had nowhere else to go. As I grew and life got more complicated, writing became more of a mixture of business correspondence and emails. Then the world of website posting happened to me. It really did happen to me. So I started writing again ... not poetry, but it was kind of like filling pages of a new notebook.

    It felt good - especially when people seemed to like what I wrote. Strangers commented, and after awhile I found myself looking forward to it more and more. Funny thing, though. Being read became the reason I wrote. Don't get me wrong, some of what I posted was good - worth sharing no matter the reason. And having it validated was pretty heady stuff. Everyone likes it when someone else reads what they've written. Makes doing it worthwhile, right?

    What I was reminded of today doesn't discount any of that. In a way, it emphasizes it. I simply remembered that the joy of creating something, anything, comes from the act itself. What happens after that is gravy. I love to write ... even if I'm the only one who knows I did.

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    It is heart breaking when you loose it all.  Working from a phone is very hard to post.  I did that for a couple of years.  This past year I have had a computer to work from.  I now write on open office and copy to the sites. 

    This community is my social outlet. It is a place that I can express myself that normally I would not get to do.  

    I am always surprised when I do get read.or even if I get some feedback. I try to leave a comment if no one has made one.  I also never read the long skinny comments that scroll along like toilet paper for miles. 


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    You're a good person, momoe.

    I have a computer, but the only internet access is dial-up ('nough said). Doing this on a phone is indeed an adventure!

    The social community aspect is huge, and important. More often than not, I'll read something that makes me think - or that sticks with me - but I don't comment. Except in my head, of course. Some of my best responses are there! There was a poster at the Cafe who was very well respected for his biting political commentary. He popped into a "social" thread of mine once, just to tersely say that he would never comment on a post like mine, but wanted me to know he read every one. So ya just never know!


    Spot on.   I had pretty much stopped writing when I somehow fell into this haiku thing and it just sort of snowballed.  I was never very confident in my writing ability and never sure what to do with it.  At one point I had delusions about succeeding as a playwright, but I think I am too far down the road for that now; too much water under the bridge so to speak, but that is okay, I do it now for the fun and, yes, the feedback, which inevitably sparks more writing.  

    You are a very good writer, keep writing, if nothing else, it may lead you to some wonderful self-discoveries, and that, in and of itself, is a pretty good thing.  
     

     


    It does take a certain level of confidence to publish an original piece in this medium. Authors of books, newspaper and magazine articles (in print and on-line) have other eyes on their work before publication. Professionals to proofread, edit, tweak and fine-tune it ... as opposed to just throwing it into the ether. Actually, it's probably more courage than confidence - it's a scary thing! Something readers, which we also are, should keep in mind.

    I'm very glad you found your courage, Mr. Smith.


    Keep writing and don't worry about losing posts, the replacements take less time and are more succinct.

    For me, the value of the site is the community which is created, accomplished through the written word, and most satisfying when the personal vignettes lighten the subject matter.  

    In this age of oligarchy, religious and contrived histories being interjected into school curricula by special interests, and ubiquitous market forces, our medium is unique in its protection and facilitation of the free use of imagination.  So write, dammit.

     

    Write. Damn all of you

    who hold back, hiding in @#s's

    Up and out herein!  


    Nice haiku. Oxy!  ( I assume that is a one syllable #$%?)
     


    Sorry. Correction: #$%ss


    Yeah! What you said!

    In this case, the original that got away was nothing like the one that stayed. It was the reason for it. While wholly accidental this time, I toss finished bits of literary genius all the time. Doesn't everyone? Sometimes, I guess, the need to write diminishes the content. So once I clear out the word cobwebs, I go with what was underneath. And you're right, it's almost always more succinct.

    What the %*&& is @#ss?


    I think it means "wha?" 

    Anyway, I enjoy your contributions here. I hadn't blogged here in a couple of years but apparently needed the interaction because I was developing a habit of walking up to complete strangers and starting conversations like advising people in supermarkets what brand of tomato soup to buy or showing cashiers my latest design project---talk about needy cobwebs.  


    That was you??


    Oxy I have been doing that for years. My problem was the only conversations I was having was saying "no," "tie your shoes," shut the door"and "stay out of the refrigerator."  You can get pretty needed for grown up conversation, also going grocery shopping felt like a vacation.  


    Right, when grocery shopping is your social outlet, it time for a review meeting.

    Recently at Home Depot I was in line buying some 2X4's and up ahead was a young woman with some sheet rock. She was in full vampire dress. I was about to remark to the guy behind me, like---get a  load of that outfit, when I got a phone call. As  I looked up the guy had moved over to the woman and was giving her his credit card.

    So, you never know who you're talking to when you make the odd remark.


    Hi barefooted, I'm so sorry that you lost your post. I have to figure out what's going with the site. I absolutely identify with what you've written here. I remember spending hours composing snarky party invitations and droll emails in search of outlets for my suppressed creativity. In 2008, I started blogging at TPM Cafe, and it seemed as if a new star had dawned on the world. I relished every recommendation and compliment, especially the LOLs that have fallen from favor now. But mostly I just reveled in my rediscovered powers of self-expression. I found myself ignoring my work that so that I could write and write and write.

    I think many of us experienced such epiphanies, but perhaps I took it a step further than most. I wasn't satisfied with squeezing in blog posts between software gigs. I decided that I must do this for a living, and I've been at it ever since. I haven't reached self-sufficiently yet, but I feel lucky that I've made it so far, and I'm optimistic of getting there eventually.

    Unfortunately, I've lost something along the way. The pleasure that I took in writing, especially the satire and the wit, has faded. I enjoyed writing the last book, though it was a grind at times. After finishing, I felt pressure to promote the book by writing op-eds, which became a chore. Writing became something that I ought to do rather than something I wanted to do.

    That's why I haven't blogged here for so long. I'm hoping that if I Ieave the field fallow for a bit, the old pleasure will return. Or perhaps I just need to find my voice again.


    You've already got your answer. Writing isn't just a great way to spend time with yourself, it's really the clearest way to talk to yourself.

    What you said here is your heart trying to tell you something. You wrote what was on your mind ... without excess deliberation or second thoughts. What you're missing isn't gone, it's waiting. For you to be ready again.

    Write something stupid. Outrageously absurd. LOL funny. Snark like you've never snarked before. Go for it! You'll know when you're through - but don't stop 'til you are. Then read it to yourself, chuckle at its silliness, take a deep breath and delete the hell out of it.

    Maybe it's time for Michael Wolraich to let Genghis come out to play.


    :) Thanks barefooted. I'll see what I can do. Love your last line.


    Well, Barefooted, I think you just got me out of my funk.  I've been sick with a damned cold that won't stop hanging on, I've been to the ER with my damned leg (no clots, that's the main thing),  I've been on the road, staying in motels for days on end, and, other than a few comments on Facebook, I've stopped writing completely.

    What the heck?

    I come here and lurk for a few minutes and the discussions are so overwhelming, so depressing, I can't wait to get out again.  I haven't even stopped long enough to keep up with the headlines.  (Sorry, Michael.  Feeling a little better today so I'll catch up.)

    But writing for me is a joy and I can't stay away for very long before I miss it and have to get back to it.  I don't know what direction it will take but this was a tonic I needed.  I hope.

    Thank you.


    Ramona, sorry to hear you've been under the weather. I miss your writing and usually positive view points, so look forward to a regenerated body and soul.

    Motels are absolute killers for me. If I absolutely must stay in one I have a survival packet---assuming I'm driving. A floor fan for white noise and to help manage ambient air. Packets of coffee grounds---in the event the last available room is a smoking room, several open packets will help kill the smell. My own pillow---which I usually forget. A pair of wire cutters to kill the coke machine and ice maker which are always next to my room. Duck tape for sealing the door. And last but not least, regular light bulbs to replace the flourescents.

    Up and at em, Ramona.


    I know what you mean, Oxy.  We have an "Emergency Box" that goes with us.  It includes 100-watt bulbs, nightlights, disinfectant wipes and spray, flashlight, cups, bowls, etc.  Oh, and chocolate, of course. 

    My husband is on Coumadin, a blood thinner, and he's always cold so we keep an extra electric blanket in the trunk, too.  Otherwise, I would die in a fiery room.

    Didn't know about the coffee grounds.  I'll have to try that.  Some hotels/motels have ozone machines that they'll run for about a 1/2 hour before we go in if they don't have non-smoking rooms, but any hotel or motel becomes the pits after too many days.


    Thanks, Ramona, you have just expanded my world of motel survival techniques.  Damn, electric blanket---what a great idea.


    Nice to see a couple of fellow fans of 100-watt incandescent light.

    (Another fan once pointed out to me that one doesn't often see the phrase "he/she had a florescent personality".)


    Too often, it seems, we convince ourselves that not having a clear, focused direction is a bad thing. Daily life requires that we stay on track just to keep up with it; if we take our eye off the ball we might drop something important. But you know what happens then? We forget how magical it is to just wander off for awhile ... the less direction, the better.

    I don't know why the first thing we push out of the way is ourselves. It's not selfish to appreciate who you are, or what you have to give. Quite the contrary, really. Creative people, especially, get kinda cranky when they're ordinary. And it shows. That's what I tell people when I'm less than wonderful, anyway. A friend of mine has a motto - do something nice for yourself every day. Why not?

    You're the heart of this place, Ramona. I've missed you.


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