I subscribe to The Sun, described on its website as “an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that for more than thirty years has used words and photographs to invoke the splendor and heartache of being human.”
I love the magazine so much that I can hardly read it. I gave past copies away, unread, so they wouldn’t haunt me.
The last part in the description of the magazine, about “using words to invoke…and being human,” that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to know, without doubt, that “invoke” is the best word to describe the gift a writer wants to use to connect to other humans about being human. I want to be the one who thought of “splendor and heartache” first.
Damn having to use quotations to honorably give the first writer the nod. I also want to hug the one who I’m quoting.
Then I want to devote my time to write life down, with as many deletes and thesaurus checks as it takes, preferrably for publication, without fear, so that somebody might connect to it. Throw in that I want to do it from a quaint, quiet writing studio with tools I love at a desk I choose surrounded by fresh walls painted a color that conjures creativity with tired dogs at my side who grew deliciously that way because I was able to walk them on a beach before work without the stress or disappointment of getting to a job I don’t love while embracing my new, balanced, supposed-to-be life looking out big windows at water and nature all day long. This is all I would do to generate my income.
Problem: As a wannabe career writer I’m not so sure I would have thought of the succint, descriptive words or sentence structure to perfectly explain The Sun which is why I’m not their writer or their editor, even though they’re hiring and I’ve considered but won’t because…
…if I look back on all the things I’ve stopped myself from generally doing or trying or wanting in my life, self doubt (the primary vitamin of my ego) is the reason.
I have no doubt about the desire. It also isn’t only because I fear imperfection or the idea of people rejecting my words (me) although that ranks up there pretty high. In fact, just writing it kind of makes me queasy. I can even go so far to say that I DO believe Universal energy has nudged, is nudging and will continue to nudge me closer to this passion.
What I fear is what I haven’t been able to state as well as another writer did in the September 2012 edition of The Sun. Eric Anderson in “Ten Days in November” was writing about what he was teaching in an intro to poetry class. Referencing John Berryman’s The Dream Songs, he intertwined what happens to him when he thinks of certain lines from Berryman’s poems.
Berryman, the poet, writes…”literature bores me, espeically great literature….” and Anderson, the muser, writes his response to that line “-because I can barely read anymore. I am a ruined reader, devastated by my own jealously of others’ success. I can barely see a word without cursing its existence on a page, in a book, in my mind.” He goes on to admit that the “thing” from one of Berryman’s ‘songs’… weighing on Anderson’s heart…might be the “fear that, even given a “hundred years & more, & weeping, sleepless””..Annie, I mean “Eric will never make good either.”
Berryman wrote The Dream Songs about himself through a character. Eric Anderson wrote that part of Ten Days in November about himself using Berryman. I’m trying my hardest to say what I want to do using Anderson in The Sun and already feeling like I’m not doing it very well.
After reading Anderson’s essay over and over again, completely frustrated I reached out to one of few people who might understand why, after reading it, I cried. “This is why I love and hate The Sun,” I told her, a fellow reader.
She understood. She knew to say it is because writing is my heart’s desire. She’s an artist.
Congratulations, by the way, to Eric Anderson. You did it! You are now a writer who this reader could barely read without crying and cursing. Your heart’s desire well done.
This is one of many first drafts of my attempt at doing the same.