Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm not one of these sappy people who look upon the past with a kind eye and wish for the "days when."  As soon as my chubby fingers find a photo of myself, be it five years ago or ten, I cringe and begin the critique of my then-self.  "What WAS I thinking?  Bangs?  Bangs?" or "Keep dreaming, Hollykins, but white jeans and your butt was a combo that should've never been tested."

It's worse when it comes to my writings.  I'll reread an old work of fiction, or a story I started with such glaring enthusiasm, but find I can't get past the seeming stupidity of the thing. Even though I loved the idea when it was first crafted, when I then see it by the light of day I positively obliterate it like a fat kid and cake (I have a picture of me doing that too - recently).  

So what I wonder is - are we all our own worst critics? What give us the right to destroy our own delicate egos by forcing the "no, you're just stupid" line of garbage down the throat of our creative genius?   Is this something we learn as children?  Are the famed boys raised by wolves plagued with this same level of self-editing?  Or do they learn early not to bite at the hand that feeds them?

This fear of post-editing is the singular reason for any bouts I've had with Writer's Block - both present and future.  I'm not so much afraid of what the public would think of my word-stringing - but I do fear what me, my own worst enemy, would do to it later while armed with an arsenal of Word-weapons courtesy of Microsoft. 

And, as if on cue, I just knocked over a half-full glass of Coca-Cola and covered my table, power cord, chair and floor with the sticky beverage.   I instantly berated myself for the sheer stupidity of the act and then laughed at the irony of this blog and grabbed a towel to mop up the mess.  

I used to get really upset over my clumsiness until one day, when I was about thirteen, I was in the kitchen at home and was loading up a large plate of spaghetti and meat sauce on to my paper plate (we're hillbillies - we don't like "doin' the dishes").  My dad wished to fill up a plate of cole slaw on the other counter - so - instead of turning slightly to let him pass - I lifted my plate up - and plastered it across my budding chest. 
I looked down at my brand-new white sweatshirt, now with a large red stain on it - and then looked at the sea of familial faces.  Their eyes were wide - awaiting my tantrum. 
And I burst out laughing.  
I couldn't get mad at myself - it was too funny - and stupid.  But in a good/bad way. 

I've learned, over time, to be more forgiving of my accident-prone self.  Perhaps if I treated my writing the same way, I'd learn not to beat myself up over every mistaken "it's" for "its."

Even now, I've reread this post four times and am not sure if it's "blogworthy." But since I've already sacrificed a half-bottle of coke to the cause -I'm hitting "PUBLISH POST," and pray that when I reread these words tomorrow morning, I will remember the spaghetti-sauced girl of days gone by...

1 comment:

Summer said...

We can't help the klutziness-it runs in the family. Tho I think I have a MUCH bigger dose of it than you do (I trip and fall down with NOTHING in my way-at least for you, there was some sort of protruding object that had gone unnoticed until you hit the floor/street/inantimate object!)
And I think we may have gotten more than our fair share of critiques growing up. Pageant Girl Syndrome perhaps? Whether or not there are 'judges' out there, we must always behave,look and I suppose, WRITE as if there were. That's my humble theory anyway!
You're a great writer. Duh.