A Final Confession: I Need to Further Isolate Myself
This is the Epilogue to my "Confessions of a Non-Essential" series.
"Art takes time—Monet grew his gardens before he painted them."
~ Atticus Poetry, Love Her Wild
For those who read my "Confessions of a Non-Essential" series, if you can recall in my last post, I said I wanted to try to write a personal blog. I've tried doing one before in the past, long before COVID-19, but then I stopped. Blogs are a lot of work. I feel motivated to keep this blog going because I have a larger readership now. It also dawned on me too that I never created a space for my fans to land. People want to know what happened to "Foster Girl" and other characters in my book.
Here's what I'm struggling with. I loved how the Confessions series turned out as that is my style: raw but well thought out, confessional with artistic quotes and grainy black and white photos. The posts since that series ended have been okay enough but I know I'm capable of better than this anemic blog. Try as I might, I can't produce a high-quality post every week.
I just can't.
The reason why is because I'm working on two personal essays. One is about raising my niece these past two years and my complicated relationship with motherhood. The other essay is about examining why child abuse has yet to stake a real flag in the zeitgeist, and my personal ten-year struggle in this matter. The more years I live, the more people I meet, the more I see how prevalent sexual abuse is in all walks of life. It's crazy how common sexual abuse is not just for women but for men too.
With this second essay, I want to go beyond the abuse and also look closer at the gatekeepers of mass information. I want to talk about who decides what stories we see and what voices we hear. My entry point to this topic will be about my experience at the San Francisco Writer's Conference in 2010. It was at this long luxurious weekend at the tony Mark Hopkins hotel, that gave me insight into how book and film deals are made, how stories on a large scale get told, how the machine works, and how difficult it is for marginalized voices to be truly heard.
But I need time and space to write such essays. Afterward, I will shop these essays to publications. That process of selling will take even longer than writing. Researching and querying (elevator pitching your essay in a letter) takes up a lot of time. Especially when you're not "connected."
I'm also working on two complement books to "Foster Girl." Here are those tentative covers:
I already wrote these books but they need more editing and rewriting. I have my editors in place and Coke Whore has had a thorough first edit. I am now at a point in my writing where I have to block out even more time to get deeper into this work. I have to conserve all my writing time and energy into these two essays and two books. Right now there's just no more time for a weekly post.
So what does this all mean? Do I stop writing this blog? No, I won't give up like last time but the posts here will have to be arbitrary. I don't even want to say once a month or once every two months. I just don't know. When the muse hits and I feel strongly about something or compelled to share a story, I'll write it and post. If I publish a piece somewhere else, I'll alert readers here since almost all of my online writing is published on different platforms behind a paywall.
Initially, I saw the value of a weekly post. The self-imposed deadline forced me to focus and write for an active audience. In my research on blog creation, every expert said I had to consistently create content to keep an audience engaged. But after the Confession series, I discovered I was writing because I had to write as opposed to feeling compelled to write. My writing didn't respond well to that external pressure to perform. Some writers need that pressure and do well with it. I don't. I'm glad I went through that experience though. I know now that I cannot write well on cue. I think a lot of writers are that way.
Ever notice that most memoirs stand alone and if there's pressure from the publisher to write a sequel, it never performs as well? Art from the heart should be better than art for commerce. I can't write and publish from my heart every week.
It takes too much out of me.
But I can write from my heart every day and present my work to the world when it's ready. I want to give you a gourmet meal, not fast food. Fine writing takes time.
You can't schedule art.
So, I'll be further isolating myself. I have to in order to write well and be worth your time.