Finished my essay yesterday, turned it in last night. In class we formed up in small groups and I received the memoirs of four other students. They're skillfully written on interesting topics.
I reread mine today and I'm embarrassed to admit I produced it. The sentences are awkward and childish, the expressions are flat, and there is no stream of thought to speak of. This happened, then this happened, and that was kind of related to this, and this other thing happened, and the end. If I'd started the assignment when it was assigned, I might have been able to catch all these little errors and oversights. Rebecca even offered to read it for me, but I didn't have it ready in time. I cranked it out, printed it, copied it, and distributed it to my classmates.
This is where my inner voice assures me that it was right all along. I really don't have any good ideas. My writing voice is for shit. I have all the composition of a box of jigsaw puzzle pieces lodged in a tire and rolled into the Grand Canyon. My editing class shows me how little I know about the linguistics for which I thought I had a passion, and my memoirs class shows me I have no talent in a form of exposition at which I thought myself naturally deft.
I have to step back and start with the basics again. I have to crack open my notebooks and start writing journal entries. I have to pull out the Natalie Goldberg books and practice some writing exercises. I must make it a goal to fill up one notebook before Fall semester, I think that's reasonable. If I can't do that, how could I ever fulfill the most desultory of deadlines at any kind of publication?
This inner voice is a killer. I have to go back to the foundation before it slices my veins open and drains me, leaves me bleeding into the ground. I can't think about the goal, if there is a goal, I have to focus on the action of writing. I have to write for the sake of being writing.