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I don’t think it’s an accident that I’m having something that’s suspiciouslylike a midlife crisis right at the start of the April Writer’s Digest Poetry challenge. What kind of midlife crisis you ask (okay, you didn’t, but you’re getting it anyhow – not too late to click over to the daily crossword)? Well, it’s one of those looking back and seeing how much obvious potential I screwed myself out of using –
-top ten med school, am not even practicing
-top ten graduate program, am teaching online part time
-taught at an Ivy League school and managed to get – not fired, but not re-hired. And yes, alienated the people at the previous job enough that there’s not a recommendation coming out of there.
-kudos from some of the most well known Stegner fellows of the early 90s (and no , I’m not going to name them) but I’m dinkering around online not publishing.

And at my age, how good is it going to get? Grandma Moses is the exception, not the rule. And yes, I have the most amazing, talented sprite EVER (seriously, he’s a scary musician – he hears it in his head and it just comes out through his fingers. It’s eerie). A lot of people say, but look, you’re a mom that’s the most important job..yada yada yada. Yes, it’s the most important job because he needs to be able to have HIS life, to be able to navigate it. But I don’t ever want that to become about me. His successes should always be HIS successes. Not mine. It’s not about me. So I get frustrated when people tell me that that should be enough – it’s not enough for me, and it’s unbelievably unfair to him..

All of which, you’ll notice, has nothing to do with sitting down and writing one poem a day. My head is full of this kind of itty-bitty tornado of self-critique and getting words past the winds is just excruciating.

Why can’t I be like other people?


  1. Diana wrote:

    You ARE like other people. We are just as full of momentous self-doubt and wonder and guilt and amazement and desire for attention and all of everything you just said.

    What’s important is how you feel about what you are doing and how to feel better about it.

    Nice blog, by the way!!

    Friday, April 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    Thank you Diana! I really needed a reminder that we’re all in this writing thing together. Those great writer communities of the 20s – that’s still a model today (just more tech based!).

    Friday, April 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

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