Thursday, June 26, 2014

Publishing Pains

To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet 

I've avoided writing for the past week. 

You see, horrible events have transpired, and standing naked in the harsh light of reality, well, I felt blinded and my eyes have needed time to adjust. 

It was only last week that The San Diego Reader, a weekly local news magazine, showcased two posts, from this blog, that I submitted a little over a month ago.  

Reading my edited work on the printed page left me a sullen quivering mess. My amateur grammar, tense snafus, and - wait for it - melodramatic flourishes exposed me for the wannabe writer that I am.   

I prayed my ex wouldn't come across it, and in the same pathetic breath, I wallowed in the idea that he didn't even care enough to want to read it. 

You may be asking yourself, how would he even stumble across her work? Hasn't it been almost a year since they've seen each other? She barely started writing her blog in April. 

It's with great reluctance and shame that I admit to y'all today: the last email I sent, to the ex, had my blog's address typed underneath my name.  

Fucking shameless self promotion struck again.

Because, after I sent that email to him, lying in my bed, with the lights out, at two o'clock in the morning, in that place - you know, that place - the one where we really live - I wanted him to read my blog.

But while opening the Reader, turning to the section my blog was printed in, and reading the headline, all at once, I felt small, shriveled, and ashamed. Shamed by the desire of wanting my ex to read ANY part of my blog, coupled with the shame of my excitement about being published. 

With every edited sentence, I felt shot through with panic and embarrassment. Slashed paragraphs evoked the overwhelming urge to run away and hide. 

What cruel celestial event had conspired to destroy the suspect web, of the fantastical world, I live in?

I called a couple of my best friends, and of course, they attempted to reassure me. Bestowing all the trite cliches that are called for in a time of crisis, but, alas, their gratuitous overtures failed to suffice.   

I even reached out to one of the Reader's columnist, Barbarella. Her column, Diary of a Diva, has been an instrumental inspiration in my beginning blog stages.

She responded almost immediately. Her email was filled with compassion, suggestions and solutions that have worked for her, during her freelance journey. 

But, even then, I still felt naked and exposed. The loneliness consumed me. 

Damn you, artistic tendency roller coaster ride! You take me to moments of incredible exhilaration only to drag me through the difficulties of having to start all over again. 

I guess it's time to come clean because all that is left is for you to see me, for who I really am.

A greasy, jean and sweatshirt wearing type of girl, who hardly ever used social media, until she was dumped by her boyfriend, at the end of last year. 

Since then, when she isn't busy picking up the pieces of her broken life, she's hunched over her keyboard, with uncombed hair (hidden beneath her baseball cap) and hairy legs, eating junk food, while carefully constructing ways to publicly display the baby steps she is making in her life, on the happenstance that her ex will see her doing well and it will cause him hell; all the while, she acts as if her high school motives do not exist.

There - it's out. 

The jig is up. Once more, I've been nailed by the truth. In the depths of my latest ego deflation, I've come away with a clearer view of myself, and yet, still haven't lost heart.  

Heart remains because, while I was so busy posting and chronicling my baby steps, another life HAS emerged. My solitude is teaching me this truth. A part of me realizes that I still have a long way to go, but another half of me has witnessed the visions of vast opportunities, within me, that are waiting to be born.  

Blinking furiously, my eyes have come into focus and I'm ready - again -to face the dawn.


  1. Well Elizabeth,you write really well about...not writing well!!your picture here is perfectly matched to your words....and you 'are' walking towards the light
    A rule i have always had is never send anything to an ex while incapacitated in any way including emotionally! Go Elizabeth,you're new exciting life awaits! ;-)

    1. :) Thanks Brendon! Your rule makes a lot of sense. :)