Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Postcards from the Writer's Life

--This morning, I listened to this interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates.  While I find him to be a prophetic (in the Old Testament sense of that word) voice when he talks about race and the U.S., I want to know more about his writing life.  I'm especially interested in his pre-Pulitzer Prize, pre-MacArthur days and the transitions he had to make after those wins.

He alludes to his earlier writing life.  He talks about writing a daily blog that was read by 2 people, himself and his dad.

I wonder if he wrote about the same subjects then.  I wonder what it's like to go from that freedom of writing whatever one wants, to knowing that a wide variety of people will be aware of one's ideas--and they won't all be friendly people.

--I woke up this morning at 2:30 because the wind has howled for over a day.  It slams things--rain, mainly--into the house.  Would I wake up this way if we hadn't had a hurricane last month?  Probably.

--I had a wonderful writing time in these wee small hours of the morning.  I'm crafting a story based on Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried."  Instead of Vietnam, it's set in a for-profit art school that's closing.  It come so easily.  What a delight to write fiction that's flowing, instead of writing a sentence and wondering where to go next.

--I've been slowly getting back to submitting--mainly packets of poetry.  It's not like past years, when I'd get envelopes ready to go to the post office on September 1, when many reading periods start.

--I am feeling a bit of despair.  I thought I would be further along by age 52.

--But let me remind myself that I do have 3 chapbooks published.  And let me remind myself that the publishing life in the U.S. in the 21st century is uneven, at best.  So even though I haven't hit some of the milestones that I would have envisioned long ago, as a much younger writer, that doesn't mean that they are forever out of reach.

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