Lately, prompted by some very articulate women I’m connected to and reading (thanks to Facebook, by golly– so it’s not a 100% time-waster, only about 99.5%…), I’ve been considering Writing Issues– particularly those challenges involved in being a woman who writes (or doesn’t “write”…); the complex array of considerations around being a woman of child-bearing age (just barely) who has not, as it were, borne substantive fruit of one kind of another; questions of value/progress/success– all really rather in keeping with the theme of “work” that’s developing in the current incarnation of NavelGazer.
I’ve been dialoguing with myself as I read along, venting the occasional spewed thought-bit over diner omelettes to Chris, paddling feelings around with the hot water mix in the bath, watching the ins and outs weave through the grainy 3 a.m. air that hangs above the bed– and mulling, more than anything, just how I might, for my part, crystallize my own thoughts in writing— narratively, cogently, in actual (lord help me) reader-readable fashion.
I’m painfully aware of my own inclination toward the hermetic and apocryphal in the language concoctions I stir up and pepper through this digital interface. I know I hide out inside the blur of elusive syntax, skitteringly allusive prose– suspect I dodge fixing and discernment in lieu of opening myself to the sorts of heavy handed judgment of early years. It is, quite frankly, a cowardly approach to writing.
I’d truly like to speak more plainly and openly here– not forgetting or dismissing the dance I’ve done down these several years with the ethics around revelatory truths not exclusively my own. I’ve learned in painful ways how even incidental, seemingly innocuous bits feel threatening to others who’ve not themselves released those bits for public consumption. In consequence somewhat I’ve settled into the verbal tick here, online, of skating ellipses around any sort of particularized personal truth– apart from the very most internal, subjective, and personal of all, the bits I see day to day, flying fragments, stuttering partial whispers.
But I’ve been reading other writers who seem to manage it with so much more aplomb, cleanly, forthrightly, with simple backbone, humility, and grace– for example Amy Dryansky– poet, artist, essayist, mother, and author of the beautifully thoughtful blog Pokey Mama. And Pokey Mama makes me consider one way I might approach my own narrative more directly: piecemeal. That is, by attempting it in small portions (oh, Melida Mae, gobble that whale, bit by mealy bit, dear girl). One small part today, another another day, explicitly picking up the thread of the last.
Coincidentally this morning A.Word.A.Day struck me to the core with sitzfleisch, that very “chair glue” I often despair of, and in particular this: “Sitzfleisch is … often the difference between, for example, an aspiring writer and a writer.”
Well, I hereby resolve: I’m gonna work me up some sitzfleisch and give this writing thing a bit more of a concerted whirl. Maybe in small bits, but by golly I’m’a diggin’ in.