So, devoid of any artistic motivations now for several weeks, I spent yesterday looking at old things I’ve written. Most of them are diaries or journals in the form of my MySpace blog, and not all that pertinent to anything other than my life when I was writing them. In fact, some of them were so exclusively pertinent to my life when I was writing them that I had seen fit to edit them afterwards, when my life had changed slightly. I’m sort of embarrassed by this – editing life, essentially, because I didn’t like how it turned out. How silly of me. I suppose I was just mad, and certainly part of it was that I always thought I had things figured out, and I always had to convince others and myself of my happiness. I’ve given up on convincing anyone else that I’m happy, because I don’t think anyone is. By letting that tendency go, I think I’ve learned to appreciate those times when I am happy. As Kurt Vonnegut’s uncle Alex always told him to stop and say whenever he noticed himself feeling happy: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” I guess I still see fit to edit life, but the main difference I see in my old writing is this false happiness all over the place, which was so ignorant and goofy that it was sad. I could see that I thought I was smart, and I was, but it was so cocky, so arrogant, so obviously disingenuous. It was like I had to prove something, or maybe more so that I worried what the reader thought of me as a person. I suppose that makes sense. It was a very personal blog. I never lied outright about anything, but my tone was so biased toward painting myself positively that everything just seems distorted, like I was lying to myself more than anyone else. I guess that’s why poetry is so much easier now. For some reason I can use the word Poetry as a barrier between the feelings and sentiments in my poems and myself. This is an odd turn for this thought-piece, by the way, as it parallels a poem I’ve been thinking about lately. Weird. I digress: this barrier, as we’ll call it, also leaves me free to manipulate the words in such a way as to distill my emotions, instead of distorting them, and I like the voice that’s left a lot better. I suppose we can thank UT for that, Thank you for the lofty aspirations and somewhat prototypical snooty philosophy on poetry, UT! But really, that I actually believe it is nice. Anyway, I just wanted to write something and post it, so I hope it wasn’t too horrible. Happy holidaze.
Your almost last line – it is nice – personifies your whole piece. Almost everyone is cockier, more arrogant at an earlier stage in life. It is how we can all take chances – you with writing – others it is something else. We look back and see this, but it is life – and no, you can’t edit or delete. It is.
Please don’t apologize for your writing.
I like your wall of text. And you shouldn’t edit your previous writings. that was where you were then, and just because you aren’t having the same feelings right now, doesn’t mean you should edit your life. Write something new! You can learn things from your past writings, and become a better writer because of it! ( If that is at all posssible!)
OK, thanks mom.
I have suffered much of the same problem with cockiness and often come off snooty. Editing of your writing to make it fit who you are now would almost be like wiping the footprints in the snow away behind you so you couldn’t see the path you had traveled. This is great if you wish to never know where it is that you came from and where you have been. Isn’t it great to be able to examine your past self and see all the good and the bad. The question is how did you get from there to here. I am no poet or english major but I do understand that what I try to go back and edit never turns out the way I want it to. Also what do you tell your children when you are gone? I hope your story remains true and unedited. By the by I think I will start my own blog here soon. Probably just to have a place to put the poetry that pops into my head. Nothing I am sure in comparison with some of your writing. Best of luck.