writing group was hard. showed 2 chapters. they appear to be only occasionally comprehensible. these are smart good people, good writers, good readers, people who like me and want my stuff to be good. maybe in some ways not the ideal readers for this book but I also think that I might have problems with the ideal readers of this book, as written. Like maybe I want a different ideal reader than the book is currently leaning toward and if I turn it, like a plant, it’ll just grow at a different angle. I almost cried. It was that horrible “there are so many good lines” and “I am really interested in what you might be up to here,” and mostly, no, I didn’t get what was happening or who these people are or why they’re acting like that. and there’s a way that in writing groups that’s a lot of what it comes down to, and only after that stuff is all locked in could you even have a conversation about anything more complicated– but it’s not more complicated– clarity is almost always the hardest thing, technically and intellectually and stylistically, b/c the more I challenge myself the harder it is to know how to do that bizarre dance between/among accomplishing what I want and giving in to what I can actually do, as a person with just this amt of skill and knowledge, no more, and letting the text to the magic (and let’s not forget lunkish) stuff that it does or may do as it intersects the universe.
And god it’s so horrible, the actions of ego and ambition, the terrible deflation, that sick aftertaste thing that lines your whole body when you know that no one in the room is thinking you are magic and fantastic. Okay my body, I, me, mine.