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January, 2008


Sketch and Travel

I Got A Feeling
A feeling deep inside, oh no
By  Jennifer Edelson

I
initially wrote this monthís article as sort of a, "Gee everythingís great!" piece.

I think it's because I want to convince myself that Iíve conquered my fears about writing. But I havenít. I want to be a good writer, but donít know what that means. I don't feel Iím there yet. I want to write full-time, or in some way that completes me, for lack of a better word. And I am terrified by the fact that it may never happen.

Lately, I do everything under the auspices of "writer." And I know thatís a lot of egg to put in one basket (to say nothing of wiping off one's face).

The truth is, I am insecure. I second-guess my writing all the time, sometimes a little too obsessively. I have an ego and Iím often sorry for it. And I donít always follow my own advice. Like, I know Iíve said it before -- be honest when you write. Donít let your insecurities reek havoc in your head. To the degree it messes with your authenticity, people sense it.

So Iíve condensed and rewritten this article, and for what itís worth, and really tried to be truthful. Itís short, and it isnít full of useful advice about writing, but more an assessment of how spasmatic I am when I think too much about the concept.

* * *

Itís a shame. Growing up, people with real tangible writing talent surrounded me -- sister, mother, boyfriend, aunt, cousin. They were my platinum ruler, the distorted ideal I measured my worth against. In my mind, I was never as good or accomplished. And I held on to the belief so tight, it became a deep seeded insecurity that kept me from writing with any seriousness.

Then sometime later in life it struck me; my reasons for writing have nothing to do with being better, or even as good as other writers. And I donít have to be James Joyce to make it. So I started writing with greater determination, and fell in love something fierce. Every aspect of writing took up house inside my soul -- and this tight wordy yarn just suddenly unraveled inside my body.

Now I canít stop myself. The feeling I get, something akin to runnerís rush when Iím engrossed in writing -- itís an addiction.

When Iím away from my own novel too long, or rooted in a lawsuit more sinister than any mystery, it lingers. I feel it like the promise of triple-ply cashmere. Taste is like bits of bittersweet chocolate. No matter where I am, or what Iím doing I just want to get back to my baby.

After years of just plodding along, I finally know what I want with clarity.

But now that Iíve really dug in deep, I fear writing will never be more than the hour or so I manage to carve out between work and family. And thatís hard, because writing casts a Technicolor shadow over a good portion of my everyday life. Writing makes me hungry. It fully engages every little part of my heart and intellect. And when Iím not doing it, the deficiency feels physical.

Working a career that doesnít engage me as fervently as writing is a constant reminder that Iím still pinning for something just over the horizon. It's still far enough away Iím not sure itís real. My expectations have yet to morph into something definite. And I pray they do, because I canít imagine existing without the permanent rush that comes with authoring essays, books and short stories.

For now, despite my doubt and need for a little extrinsic validation, I will keep writing. I know better than to judge results by external worth only. I will keep writing, because I feel language the way I feel sex and love and life and wanting. Writing heightens my awareness of humankind and all things organic. And I am convinced I canít want something as bad as this unless Iím meant to have it.

So I am terrified, but still willing to leap into the indefinite. I just really donít want to hit bottom anytime soon, and sometimes wish life could toss me a parachute.IN Icon 


Jennifer Edelson is a Minnesota attorney and legal writing professor. Her writing has appeared on all the finest refrigerators in the Twin Cities. Jennifer can be emailed at: raceyipsa@msn.com


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IN This Issue
Creative Karma
Rejected! Now What?
Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Virtues
Essential Ingredients
The Last Quill
Done At Last!
Part III: It's A Fact
Part II: It's A Fact
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Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

Poetry
The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

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The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

Pegasus
It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

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Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
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Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

Re-Verse
The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

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