aimless love

But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod, ready for the next arrow. billy collins

Monday, November 6, 2006

can't seem to slow down

This is the third week in a row that I haven't turned something in to my writing class.

I MUST turn something in next week... and I don't want it to be something I write an hour before class... I want it to be a piece I consciously try to put together. Essays are hard! I'm getting tired of hearing myself say that writing is hard... but it is!

I've been transcribing my travel diary from El Salvador and that's been good... there are kernels of stories there.

And I still have half of the autobiographical essay I wrote for my dissertation (the one I was asked to take out). I had submitted the first half, and the feedback I got was good, but hard. The teacher wrote:

What a mine of rich material! It could be a first-rate piece if:

1. You would choose a focus. Is this a family history? Is it a contrast between you and your brother despite similar external circumstances? There are many interesting characters that could be developed but are not. So you need a clear purpose here - which in turn would provide a clearer, more logical structure.
2. Your style is fluent and readable most of the time. Note my many suggestions for more precise prose and stronger, franker diction.
3. The dash is meant to be used rarely; you are overfond of it. So that mark signals your haste or unwillingness to slow down and think about what you are saying.

A promising start but you can and will write much better! The potential is certainly there.

I'm mostly having trouble with the idea of "focus" - I don't think I do a very good job of focusing my pieces... there are too many details I want to include, and I get side-tracked and distracted by all the side stories, and I don't want to leave anything out. Or perhaps it's just more true that I am trying to "not slow down too much" so that I don't have to really "think about" what I am saying or know what I know.

I think this is true of so many aspects of my life... this inability to be where I am. To really slow down and attend. And my fear that if I do I will get too bogged down to keep moving (by sadness? by rage? by despair and depression?) or that I just don't have it in me to make something out of it... not trusting that I have the inner resources (whether strength or cleverness) to turn what I see and know into something good and true.

1 Comments:

At November 10, 2006 at 10:57 AM, Blogger Eve said...

it's a constant struggle...to slow down and be here, be now, all of that. it's a constant struggle.

 

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