Thursday, May 15, 2008

this writing life

For the past week I have been considering the purpose of this blog. I'm not the same editorgirl I was when I began three years ago to toss ideas into cyberspace, into the net of a few friends who were at similar places in their lives. Those friends changed, I changed, and in a way my blog reflected that, but more in absences and diatribes than in any of those first posts. Note: This is not to say that you should read those first posts. They're nothing groundbreaking, although they seemed, and were, important at their inception.

I still feel the need to toss around ideas in a no-pressure space, but at the same time, I'm tired of the constant navel-gazing deskset-for-one mode. It's beginning to read like my journal from high school--I only write when I need to emote. I'm also not at a place in my life where I want to be posting regular updates about where I am and what I'm doing. I'm in Utah working at a law firm. That covers it. No need for a daily report on what time the mail came or what Old Man Mayor said before leaving yet another message for his attorney (yesterday, when I said I would deliver the message, it was "God bless you, my angel").

What I do need right now is a place to conduct what I like to think of as "The Self-Education of Sarah Jenkins." In exile from academia, I know I'm at risk of losing that part of myself. I didn't realize how quickly it could leave me until today when I curled against the arm of the couch at work (after hours, waiting for Dad to finish up) and began reading the intro to Lyric Postmodernisms. I could feel myself processing and considering Shepard's account of the contemporary lyric, understanding his project and how this anthology proposed to present itself. This is what I want to be doing, this is what I am going to do, with or without a PhD program, with or without a syllabus guiding me. Over the next year, or however long it is, this blog is going to be a place for me to write about writing, to see what and how other poets are writing, and to make some progress in figuring out exactly what I want to do as a writer--that is a question I still haven't answered. Part of me wants to say that I'll take on Kim Johnson's final paper again and write about my poetic project. And maybe I will. Maybe now I'll finally be able to figure out what I'm trying to accomplish when I write. And I will take any and all suggestions as to reading material, writing prompts, etc. I know that there aren't many reading this blog anymore, but I trust those who are and I invite/beg you to stay with me this year. It's time for me to finally stand on my own.

And now you can make your joke about the girl who's living with her parents again.

12 comments:

Anna B said...

um, can i copy you? and do you want to read discipline and punish with me?

Anna B said...

and can you please consider usc for your phd??

erin said...

I still read you.

Mr. Fob said...

Will the Self-Education of Sarah Jenkins be the title of an incredibly successful hip-hop/r&b album you release at the end of this year?

Mr. Fob said...

And will its lyrical strength come from you dissing the frontman of that group you used to belong to, the Fobees?

bawb said...

I still read.

mlh said...

I think that's a really good idea. It's really easy to slack off from the academic thing. My parents are both professors, for crying out loud, but it's hard for them to keep up with everything, even in their fields. Since I, also, am fascinated by hare-brained schemes of self-education.

So Here Are My Suggestions:


1: Subscribe to magazines such as

a) the New Yorker and other literary/popular magazines

b)The Economist and other general magazines so you can whomp your friend's IR majoring husband in cocktail conversation.

This is good because magazines you can read in just like 10 minutes at a time and still learn a lot. And they're the cutting edge, so you can be aware of what the latest fads.

2) Talk to smart people. I'm willing to volunteer myself. :-) But really, that's what this here blog is doing. It's good if you can meet with people in person. Maybe like a book club with people at work or in your ward (although, you do have a different pool of interests than at college, I'm afraid)

3) Plan and complete projects. You should have returned my calls--I'm finishing up a book of poetry. Do you have a book-length manuscript?

4)Watch the AFI top 100 movies.

5)Write. Every day.


I donno. It's hard work to keep your mind up. I'm hardly one to talk.

Th. said...

.

Everybody loves an autodidact. Or everyone hates an autodidact. I forget.

Thirdmango said...

I understand this post frighteningly well. Maybe though we're different over the three years, there are still things which make us the same. I too have had my blog for three years and it's gotten hard to post on it now a days.

mlh said...

ooh, and podcasts.

Ginsberg said...

Amen to watching the AFI Top 100 Movies. Maybe you could read Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century while you're at it. Or, if you're more ambitious, I think Kataya's got a list of like 1,000 "Books to Read Before You Die".

Alexis said...

I know this feeling. Even though I still haven't graduated, I definitely feel disconnected from the world of stimulating thought. I've watched a bunch of the AFI Top 100 movies and I try to read books I wouldn't normally pick up. I'm trying to convince myself to prepare some papers to submit to journals in case I decide to apply to grad schools one day.

Anyway, I'm going to be up in Utah in about two weeks. Can we go to Mimi's or something?

 

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