Saturday, October 25, 2008

Writers' Agonies, Volume 1, Chapter 1

As a writer, I maintain certain unexamined assumptions I do not wish to examine at all. To wit:

1. Words are the whole world.
2. All words are equal.

These assumptions mean I agonize not only over my own work, but at scarifying length over all words ever spoken or written to me. I can spin up whole rainbows of agony out of a lone "Sorry" scrawled on a rejection slip, and fury, too, because whoever wrote it doesn't seem really sorry! I can't seem to weigh and sort words according to their source or context or tone. Some people say that words are mere hot air, or can be ignored! Not I! To me, all words are serious! You can imagine how I fare in a culture that is jerry-built on kidding and banter. For example:

Hi there, Eagle Beak!

Eagle Beak?

It's a joke! Just a joke! (Punches ME on the arm.) Can't you take a joke?

(Looks daggers.)

Ha, ha! I was just kidding. (Pounds ME on the arm repeatedly.) Geez!

You're a f-----g a--hole.

A-ha, ha, ha!

1 comment:

  1. I, too, hang every bit of weight on words.

    Today, I got a rejection form from The Missouri Review, BUT someone hand wrote "Thanks" and underlined it--even though the form letter thanked me already. It felt like they had been glad to read it anyway. I choose to weight that word happily--not just for the word, but for the extra effort of the ink.