Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Musings from someone who sees stories everywhere.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

pearls in writers' groups

My writer friend Behlor Santi says, "I returned to my old stomping grounds...There's a lot more coffeeshops and bars and boutiques there. There's plenty for the tourists. Yet I felt that I'm returned to the same bullshit,...looking the exact same way they did in 2002. Back then, I was in a more fragile emotional state, and I yearned for these hipsters' approval. Not, I laugh at them. I notice how pathetically they lie, how cheesy and classless they are. ...To artists everywhere else--I ask you this: do you feel alone in a sea of poseurs? Or have you found solidarity with fellow artists who create the real deal?"

Yes, I also feel alone in a sea of poseurs sometimes. And then I see that I, too, am a poseur, pretending not to care about so many things like rejection slips, comments in shrill voices punctuated with raised eyebrows like "Oh, so YOU wrote that article in yesterday's paper? I read the one next to it and it was really interesting. But yours, ..." Or, "You sure do have a lot of idle time on your hands."

And I pretend not to care when someone welcomes me in a new on-line writer's group and the thread is immediately hijacked to a completely unconnected topic. (That's happened to me thrice)

But then I do find solidarity in this sea of, well maybe not poseurs but but people who couldn't give a damn. Because of people like you who drop by at this blog. Because we sift through the sand and eventually do find lovely sea shells and even pearls.


The Wandering Author said...

Moni, if we're honest, we all care about rejection slips, brutal comments, and the like. I think the real difference is that those who persevere learn to put a bold face on it. In any profession or occupation, those who already know the tricks are contemptuous of "newbies" who haven't figured it out yet.

And yes, there are pearls, buried amidst all the grit. There sure does seem to be a lot of grit, though, doesn't there? :-) I might complain more loudly about it if I weren't a grain of sand myself, more often than I like to admit.

monideepa said...

Well said, WA. We do care, we do secretly seek validation for our writing in some form. You call yourself a grain of sand? Well, a few sandgrains end up evolving into pearls. It's a long-drawn, painstaking process and perserverance maters.

monideepa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Abraham said...

Moni my dear,

All lovely. Pictures as well. Wherever do you find them? Today, you captured the heart of my thoughts.

With such a ruthless world publishing industry that surrounds me with which to feed my ambitions, I think how lovely to get a little obsure publisher somewhere in London, to publish my story in a little book and to sit with a circle of writer & artist friends in a little talk about life, philosophy and damn all the rest...and to feel the writerly passion in me soaking in my blood & rising in my veins. Yes, we need like-minded people more than anyone. When I return to London, I hope to find friends like this.
And of course, I value getting to know you very much.

btw, Moni I have a second blog you might like. It's called Susan A. I just opened it 2 days ago and intend to make it purely literary. Both my blogs will stay. :-)

monideepa said...

Hi Susan,

How lovely to have your story published in a book. Small publishers are more open to new voices. I'm sure you and your writing will grow along with them.
Look forward to checking out your literary blog.

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Moni, of course we all care about rejection. It stings, so it's much easier to tell ourselves those little slips don't matter. A friend of mine once papered her bathroom wall with rejection slips until her husband finally objected. One trouble is that we are soliciting the approval of total strangers of unknown taste and competence. I will tell you rejection doesn't hurt, but I will be lying. Brutal comments of course are a total waste except to bolster the egos of the people making them.

You're quite right, Moni, that you can't have a pearl without a grain of sand.

monideepa said...

Thanks for dropping by, Bob. Wish you all the very best with your book and other writing.

Atyllah said...

Hmm, yes, I've come across the poseurs but I've also connected with some wonderful, warm and caring writers who've become good friends. I guess it's about discernment and honesty because no matter what anyone says we and our fragile egos all in the same boat ultimately.

monideepa said...

Atyllah, our egos are fragile because whenever we write something substantial, we expose a little of our inner selves to he world.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Moni

Yes, I have sensed it is a hard job being a writer, but I tip my hat off to you for persevering...I'm sure your dreams of seeing your work in print will be realized soon.