Monday, September 26, 2005

No cheese with this whine

I read somewhere, I think over at Miss Snark's blog , that no blog surfer likes to tune into blogs where a writer just vents or whines about how difficult and frustrating the writing process is. Of course not! You want brushes with celebrities and drug-filled outings where I get high on cocaine and call some critic a didactic ass before a gushing nose-bleed has me fainting in my expensive French food! But of course, that would require connections, money, an addiction and a few other things I don't really have. Which is the long way of telling you, that what you'll find here is a lot of venting and whining about how difficult and frustrating the writing process is. With the occasional moment of glory, satisfaction and success, which I will be sure to exaggerate and blow out of proportion for your reading pleasure.

I've come to discover today that my ego is still a bit weaker than I'd like. And the tether of my patience much looser than I expected. Let's talk theoretically here, so as not to indict anyone, especially myself.

Let's say you got a well-paying gig for a new publication and you were both excited and nervous about it because it meant showing your chops for the first time, impressing, all that jazz and you were particularly eager to do a good job. And let's say you turned in an assignment that you'd worked hard on and felt good about, got some edits back that were totally manageable, which you then worked even harder on, turned it in, got a "good job" from your editor and someone even higher up than him, only to receive a phone call a week after you finished your last edit AND three days before the final copy needed to be complete...let's say this phone call came from someone very high up on the chain, the highest up, actually, who, you find out at the last minute, gets the final say though you were not aware of this until the moment he called you, who tells you that this story you turned in is not what he had in mind, that he wants you to do a total rewrite and can you do so by Thursday? Even though he is very sorry and has of course learned something in the process with you as the guinea pig.

Say you also had two other major assignments due by thursday, and one due on Friday, plus a boatload of editing and some other projects you've let simmer too long on the back-burner already because you made this project a priority...

How would you feel? Theoretically?

You might feel as though the great energy that you woke up with, which was going to draw you effortlessly through the draft of an article you needed to write that very day had been completely drained out as if someone had opened a little valve just below your tailbone and it had run down the backs of your legs. You might find yourself saying things to yourself like: "I should be tougher than this." But you're not. "I should expect this. "But you didn't. Sometimes, you might conclude, it just doesn't work out in your favor and there 'aint a damn thing you can do about it except ask for more time and hope that you've made the right decision to try and come through on this assignment when every fiber in your body feels frustrated and disappointed and rebellious. Perhaps.

You might start gazing longingly into Peet's coffee as you passed by, wondering how much minimum wage is these days. You might understand ever more clearly what your friend Invisible Girl means when she says some days she wishes she collected bugs instead of writing (and who has the bitchin'-est Sylvia Plath quote on her site).



At 5:41 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Ay! Poor Jordan! I'm thinking this might be a good time to consider a cocaine addiction.

Hang in there, my friend! I'll understand if I don't hear from you the rest of the week. (Can you get an extension on any of those deadlines? Yikes!)


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