11 September 2008

What are your (writing) fears?

I used to be afraid that I would never get the time to write enough poems to have another book. Now, I have the opposite problem. I have written a lot of poems, basically two different manuscripts, and instead on focusing on revision and submitting work to journals, I just let them fester in word documents. This is funny to me because in the past I was all about submissions, and the writing came second. I think I need to punish and/or reward myself as a way to get motivated about the BFS.

However, it's the end of week 3 of the semester, and I still haven't written the names in my grade book, so it's really no surprise that I haven't done the BFS yet.

I wish I was the kind of person who would send stuff out every week. Maybe that will be my new goal.

I'm also afraid that I'll end up being known as an editor, but not as a writer. Or that I'll let my upper administrative interests overtake me, and end up never teaching or writing. I guess my point is that I am worried about having the wrong kind of ambition.

Things I'm not worried about: grading this pile of quizzes, making BOR#2 as good as BOR#1 (it already rocks), whether or not getting five inches chopped off my hair was a good idea.

So what are your fears about writing? Maybe if we all fess up to them, we can kiss them goodbye and move on.

10 comments:

Penultimatina said...

PS--that is not *my* chair in the picture. I'm not that scared of poems...

Adam Deutsch said...

My fear is that I won't be able to find a job to feed and house myself...those two things are necessary for writing, I hear.

Justin Evans said...

My fear is that I don't have the dedication (read courage) do devote the amount of energy to my poems they deserve.

I have the constant fear that I have never, nor will never make the transition between someone who writes poems to becoming a poet. I have always had doubts as to whether I write for the correct reasons, or if I am simply fooling myself.

Jay Robinson said...

I worry about a lot of things: not ever publishing a book is certainly one of them. Sometimes when I haven't written a poem in a while (like 6 or 7 months), I wonder whether I ever will again. But then I remind myself (and I know a lot of people will disagree with this) that poetry, at the end of the day, is not the most important thing in the world, that plenty of people have found a way to live without it. Ultimately, I think fear is a selfish emotion (I should know, I have plenty of them), and because it is it's a useful tool for helping us better understand ourselves and those around us.

Laura Without Labels said...

I'm afraid that if I decide I don't want to go back to school, can I still be respected by my peers as a writer? Do I need the street cred? Can I make my own cred? I think I can. I just gotta figure out a way to keep my confidence up when people start waxing academic on me. I'll echo the job thing. I like having a job that affords me time to read and write between tasks. Hope I always have a job like that.

On a side note, I was going to comment on the new facebook pics that your hair looks AMAZING. It's like you are a walking Panteen commercial! So shiny! I like.

Carol Mac said...

I fear I've taken too much on this semester, and how, lately, writing feels like a luxury and that I should be workng on other things writing related, but not poems. You know, the things that actually pay the bills. It's the darn blue-collar in me freaking out. Ah!

whirly-girl said...

I am full of fears (and tonight is Spooky Night, in which all of my fears trample on all of the rest of me). Chief among them:
1. I am too stupid to succeed in my PhD program
2. I will be one of those people who finish my PhD program without a book published, and I will be in the 7% of graduates from this crw program (poetry especially) who does not get a job, which means I will be on 'survival jobs' to pay bills and which I horridly fear means Cubicle Land.
3. I will never totally trust my editing and revising instincts and will, somehow, fuck up the poems that have the most potential to be so powerful and resonant
4. No one will ever again publish one of my poems
5. I will become so deluded and trapped inside fear that all of my poems will be whiny and confessional
6. The mailman (or e-mail program) will lose an envelope containing notice that I have either won a fellowship, won a book contest, or gotten my work placed in a journal I very much admire.
7. Non-writing related: I will walk out of the house one day to something big-deal, like a job interview or a poetry reading, and I will be wearing navy blue and black or mis-matched shoes or an outfit that matches well but then bird poop lands on my shoulder and dribbles down my back...and let's not go there!

John Gallaher said...

Mine are pretty much the same as yours. And the editor one is a very real fear. There are so many stories of writers who get swamped into being editors, so that people forget they also write. I've had that conversation with Wayne Dodd and Martha Rhodes, two name just two.

My nightmare fear, since this is a private confessional and all, is that I'll never find my way out of all the paper I've surrounded myself with. One of those silly nightmares of the hoarder, where I'm ending up in a trap house that has nothing but piles and piles of poems, lost search parties sending out their ever more desperate S.O.S.'s.

Collin said...

I would love to see Hillary in person.

Rachel Fox said...

I have a fear that just pops up now and again. It is like a big loud voice shouting "charlatan! fake! moron! You've completely missed the point about everything!"
I panic.
Then it goes away again. Back to work.
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