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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Creative Writing Workshop

Completing a piece gives me a warm and solid feeling of accomplishment. I have taken a piece of myself, polished it, and now the world can see it gleam and smell its unwashed stink. I examine the piece, reading it from different angles, as God's child, as a filthy peeper dressed only in women's shoes, each time a different person, a different laugh. I can't escape the feeling that I'm revealing more of myself than I realize.

I like it when people compliment my work when in a group. That reduces my baseline anxiety and eases my worry. I stop picking at my scalp. What are those hard parts anyway? They're fun to peel away. The judgment may be harsh, but with one compliment my presence no longer needs to be justified. Since I am capable, I fit in. Someday I may excel.

My turn is coming. The mob readies its fangs, ready to vent the rage of years of social slights and disappointing sexual experiences. I know what it is to show work, to show filet of soul (that's terrible) and have others wonder what else I do when I'm alone. I know what it is to hope that they won't kick me in my vulnerable spots again and again, relishing my gasps and grunts, but still be honest enough to prepare me for someone who will.

In writing, criticism wounds me. Even faint praise depresses me. I'm addicted to the endorphin buzz, high, hugging the Downy scented adulation. I've developed a tolerance for it. I must have more. I'm a perfectionist. Sell me more.

It's my turn.
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8 Comments:

Blogger sybil law said...

Seriously - I loved this.

11:15 PM  
Blogger JMH said...

Thanks, sybil.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

there is some famous quote by someone famous about how until you can accept criticism, you aren't truly a writer.

whatever.

also, about that scalp? Aveda makes a men's shampoo that exfoliates. It's expensive, but it is awesome according to anyone I've ever talked to. Both my husband and son use it.

8:40 AM  
Blogger JMH said...

I deserve a pink and healthy scalp. I'll try it!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Oh, this is both true and an excellent piece of writing itself.

4:57 AM  
Blogger JMH said...

Thanks, Jay. Happy New Year.

7:48 PM  
Blogger jorg wobblington lopez said...

I love creative writing workshops, especially if they are full of women who write about their emotions, and who often cry, and who cry when you tell them their writing sucks, ha ha. I cry too, friend... I cry too...

12:09 PM  
Blogger JMH said...

Ah, cruelty for the sake of art has always made me uncomfortable, but when your first thought is "this is totally unsalvageable" it's difficult to disguise and perhaps not even worth disguising.

8:44 PM  

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