Veronique Darwin

I Am the Worst

In Literary Events on September 14, 2013 at 8:45 pm

It’s the biggest error of a young diarist: believing that it is interesting to write a diary entry that begs the reader to forgive the writer for having been “bad,” for having forgotten a commitment, for having been too busy or too normal not to write in their diary every night before bed. And bloggers do it too, because bloggers are just kids writing in diaries but with bigger audiences (an audience). But how embarrassing a diary entry it makes, when read months later, as still the most recent post. Where does there exist a more outright proclamation of laziness?

And I am the worst. The worst of them all! I have been doing nothing but work (work work, not writing work!) for two weeks. After writing a novel in three days and thinking that would help me continue (and not give up on) writing while teaching. After once telling someone that I would probably write for 90 minutes before school and 90 minutes after. After imagining a life where a job and writing were mutually inclusive.

I am, of course, not the very worst. I understand that these were the first two weeks of school and the first two weeks of my teaching career. But then I think about how in life I have given up on so many penpals. And that there are still so many unanswered messages in my Facebook inbox because I forgot Facebook is a viable means of communication and not just where I look at what weddings you went to and read your hashtag run-offs from Twitter. I am becoming bad at making time for writing, and that’s almost the only realm of writing that I am any good at!

But I talked to my students about my writing. And I’ve had them write in their journals every morning. And I am reading a book. And I went to a writing meeting in Whistler. And I dream. And I stare at people too long in public. And I wear this long blue skirt. And when people ask me about my writing I don’t admit I’m not doing it. And then I’m doing this.

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  1. I wonder at those who do such postings….I wonder that there is no exhibition of learning or wisdom at the folly of such thoughts of obligation. Misplaced and unjustifiable accountability to that which carries NO impact nor bearing upon one’s life outcome. Well, I suppose if one counts a ripping apart of the self, rather than a free creating when creating hits, then there is an impact. A horrid impact that attempts to apply guilt and the work ethic to creation and the creativity that precedes it.

    There within it, too, is the arrogant assumption that others, or ourselves–at some later date, will care that we have been absent. or wonder why–or carry obscene and uncalled for expectations of us in a horrid version of virtual mind control. Our real friends know (or they ask without pressure to perform or to be present), the others…who cares.

    I once, to wrangle with these feelings and to bend them to my creative will, wrote a short story within the weavings of my intended, that included a theme of the lives and the attacks upon the Should family. It ran through my writing like the smaller images that run through the writings of Jan Brett. Sometimes, these add to the ending story, and I leave them. Other times, I have an entire NEW creation that stands alone, once I remove its bits.

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