I’m thinking that I’m going to need to spend some quality time with myself offline, soon.
Largely, what I’ve been doing is reading, and working. Speaking of which, running off of the theme of my recent interests, I did check out and read Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. (I can mention this because I’ve already returned it.) This is basically a nonfiction graphic novel about the dawn of nuclear weapons. It didn’t take more than one afternoon to read.
I’m pretty sure I saw this one reviewed somewhere, as well…but I can’t really find that post, right now. I could have sworn it was on Comics Grinder, but I’ve run a few searches and don’t see it. Nor can I recall if I’m Following any other blogs which may have reviewed it.
One of the things which I am finding myself concerned about, now, is finding balance between information intake and synthesis, and moving toward information output. I have things that want to come out of me, but at the same time I’m concerned about putting them down on paper. This is the, “but what if somebody finds it,” concern…
…which is, basically, concern about misreading and judgment — to which this information is rather vulnerable. Ironically, one of the main reasons I started writing as a youth at all was to escape judgment. Then, came the internet.
Most of the writing I’ve been doing has been on this blog or elsewhere online, intended for immediate consumption. However, I’ve got the seed of at least one or two projects rolling around in my mind. The main problem is that I will need to confront at least one to three (or more) minority statuses to get the information out at all. At least one project has to do with how to get through life when you’re someone like me: particularly focusing on mental health and gender fluidity. As for anything else; that hasn’t solidified yet. I find myself wondering, though, how “creative” (i.e. spiritual) I can get while discussing the former two topics, and how many people that might alienate (I’m nowhere near being Christian, let me just say that). I also wonder if spiritual content might invalidate the rest of the text, somehow.
It might be easier to work on the art, at this point, and let things filter through that way. (I’m looking at my paint chip collection, right now.) This is not the only time I’ve run up against this, though. Particularly when I was in early college, I would find it difficult to switch from an absorptive, commentating mode into a productive one. This was particularly severe when I would go for three months just reading, without writing anything, and then be expected to turn in a 10-20 page Term Paper at the end of the quarter.
Reading is not the same as writing; and it can be difficult, when you’re confronted with various finished works, to get back into writing a first draft of something which is invariably more poorly made than what you’ve just read. But this is because of editing — lots of editing — and lots of rewrites being put in on those projects. I actually had a co-worker tell me once that she didn’t think she could be a writer, because she didn’t feel she could measure up to the greats (like Shakespeare).
And here again we find ways people are unintentionally (we hope, unintentionally) harmed by University curricula. The English half of my Writing program made me want to stop reading; I’m not even kidding about that. This English program was not about just anything written in the English language; it was about a majority of ethnically English writers, which for me amounted to Ethnic Studies in English.
I had been hoping for a more American/multicultural slant, but the English department in specific was very conservative, leaving everyone who wrote something in English which wasn’t considered a, “Classic,” (by what criteria something is a “Classic,” I still don’t know; I just know that pretty much everything I read would easily fit into the “Classics” section at my Library) to be focused on by the Ethnic Studies department. The latter was also kind of disappointing because it focused on politics, not craft.
Although I’ve got to say that I really did appreciate my class on Vietnamese-American Literature. I was certain it was expected that I would take a class which corresponded with my own diaspora…but after having been exposed to Japanese-American culture for most of my prior 20 years, I — rather — wanted to see how some other Asian people lived. I have had to deal with racism from within my own culture, and that did factor into not taking Japanese-American Literature (which would have been what I took if I went the easy route).
I kind of wonder, though: if I had taken Japanese-American Literature, would it have tipped me over into taking Japanese Language and Literature for my Bachelor’s, as versus English — Creative Writing? And would my writing today still be as crisp as it sometimes can be?
I really don’t know. What I do know is that Federal Aid won’t cover a second Bachelor’s — I checked it out, a long time ago.
Anyhow. Not to get into regrets…
I am, though, wanting to get back to my art materials. I don’t know yet what I’ll make, but I’m sure something will come of it, somehow.
I should probably get back to work in my Art Journal, too…
…And maybe, if I’m going to use the little journal I’ve got for writing out this project…maybe I will just try writing whatever comes to mind, as versus having a clear presupposed view of what I am “trying” to get out. I think it will help.