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Friday, 6 August 2010

The Truth, The Half-truth, and Nothing But -- GIBSON

I attended a humour workshop awhile back. The facilitator, a friend and film producer, explained the art of writing a rant. It took me a year or more to get up enough nerve to clamber of my “gracious all the time Christian” perch and try it. When I got started last week, I couldn’t stop, it was so much fun. So, fellow writers....here’s the result of my experiment. Try it. It heals things.


*****
I’m a personal essayist, primarily. I’m not terribly prolific, but I’ve been published more widely and earned more money than a few people who call themselves writers. My writing and broadcasting has won awards at almost every regional level, from provincial to national to international. I’ve counseled, cajoled, encouraged, edited, taught and judged other writers and their writings for years.

I’m a faith-writer, mostly for people of no faith. BUT today I feel like an amateur in faith and writing. Or a has-been. Whatever I feel, it feels an awful lot like done in.

The day is hot, and the backyard appealing. The shoulders hurt like fire, the words won’t come, and no one seems to care about the drivel I write. I should just stop.

I’m getting old. Books are too much work. Editors are half my age. Little kids are writing best-sellers, and seniors with more rolls than brains make more money posing in swimsuits for calendars than I do in an entire year. Magazines that pay two cents a word are taking all rights—even moral ones. They should talk to the calendar seniors. The glory days are over—it’s time to change tenses. I write. I wrote.

I’m tired of having to know what’s hot in publishing, and who’s not in blogging. I’m weary of trying to catch up to the latest trends in social marketing, and I can’t remember why I got into this racket in the first place. I think I lost my edge a long time ago. I’m dreaming of quitting while I’m behind.

I have scores of Facebook friends who wouldn’t drop a tear at my funeral (forget that, they wouldn’t even come to my funeral) and a few real friends who think I died long ago. I’m tired of pumping myself up like an air mattress with a gash in the bottomside. I’m bogged down with blogging and I’m so Linked In, I feel like chain mail. Quitting never looked so good.

I’m weary of learning about apps and codes, formatting and podcasts, digitalization, e-books, audio-books and Kindle Readers, and getting verified by Google. I’m sick of being tweeted at, poked, forwarded, e-mailed, RSSed, free newslettered, forummed, Skyped, and IM’ed. My heart longs for, dreams of, wishes for one phone—only one—one that won’t follow you around, but when it rings it sends you clear to triage. One with no caller ID, with holes for your fingers and a dial that goes around and around and swooshes home again all by itself.

I spend so much time in my home office, sitting at my desk, that my fanny has spread to Newfoundland and my brain feels like a block of tofu. Parts of my house are verging on squalor—and those are the neat rooms. Yesterday our parrot said “oh, glory” and fell off his perch when I passed his cage. The cat wanted out, and we don’t even have a cat. I’ve forgotten how to cook and remembered how to suck my thumb. This morning I brushed my computer, defragged my hair, edited my breakfast, cooked my books, and tried to convert my husband into an email-able PDF file.

It’s most definitely time to stop. Where’s that swimsuit?


Kathleen Gibson, author and speaker

3 comments:

Peter Black said...

Oh you poor thing, Kathleen!
"The Whole Truth, The Half Truth,and Nothing But" demonstrates the very reason you definitely should not quit writing -- despite the multiplicity of woes it entails!
Thanks for raising more than my gaze ... you raised a big smile:)

violet said...

Ha! But I say, please don't stop...

Kathleen Gibson said...

Thanks, Peter and Violet. I'm better now. A new swimsuit helped.