Another new follower. This time it’s a “literary person, ” someone who “likes to photograph,” and someone who “thinks.” This person reminds me of me or someone I want to be. I want to be known as a literary person. I have taken a lot of photographs — my flickr page has some 45,000 images or so, and I love to read. I feel woefully unqualified for the job, though.
I am not a trained writer. I tell myself that’s good; because I’m not constrained by what teachers and authors of literary manuals say what a writer should be, how a writer should write. I know a lot of these ideas. How many of you understand free indirect voice or know what a Hemingway comma is? [it’s more the absence of a comma] I am not the most read reader, and I have excuses. My mind wanders into all areas of life from business to technology to politics to psychology to metaphysics to religion to sciences to diabetes self management to chess. I have solid knowledge of many areas but am master of none. I also can’t read like I used to. Not only do I need these annoying reading glasses, but my diabetic retinopathy has taken a toll. It’s doubly hard or worse for me to read a line of writing. And when you see my spelling mistakes, I often just don’t pick up on them with my failing vision, even with spell checkers.
But I have creativity to spare. I have drafted about three hundred alternate universes, and my latest end of civilization story involves a fossil fuel eating micro-organism — think about that one!
Part of my creativity comes from my eye condition. I’ve lasted through a “10% you’ll go blind in five years” told to me 18 years ago to major bleeding inside my eye to major surgery to clean it out and patch it. The backs of my eyes look like the worst imaginable computer game battle zone.
The result is I know I’m living on the edge of disaster: I could go blind in one or both eyes in a heartbeat. It has changed my attitude. Basically I just don’t care any more about negatives. I don’t care what people think, I don’t care what obstacles are in my way, and often I don’t care if there’s risks. Two years ago I said I was going to write fiction, and I did. I still am. I plan on continuing. If you don’t like it; I don’t care. Seriously, I don’t. I will of course listen to what you think and try to improve, but I have no more spare cards to draw from the deck. I’m moving forward whether I like it or not.
I’ve written some very powerful prose this week. It’s been tough. I’ve been taking my already written scenes, scrapping ninety percent of them, re-writing them, feeling awful about how badly I wrote, thought long and slowly about what I really wanted out of the scene, then re-wrote it again with showing words. And tehn I edited them three more times.
“How did that go John?”
“Did you learn anything?”
“I learned my inner voice is buried deep, and I need to dig down and find it.”
“But you’ve found him?”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t know it.”