This month's optional question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite
to write in and why?
I write women’s fiction, personal essays and poetry but could
I say I have a favorite? I’m not sure. All I know is that whatever I am immersed
in at the time is my favorite. So, if I’m writing stories about women who overcome
life-altering obstacles, they rope me in, take me on trips to other places, plunge
me into other lives. Once I’ve completed a draft, the editing drives me to
contemplate every word, sentence, paragraph, scene, and arc. While I’m in the
midst of it, it feels like my best and most passionate work.
Then there are the essays. Most often lately, they
appear here in Middle Passages. Each month, when it’s time to produce another
post I dive in, focusing on nuance, the style, my voice. Once I’ve completed a first
draft, I walk away. On return, I see where the essay needs to go and tweak and massage,
making it the best writing I can achieve at the time. I think about the
bloggers who will see the piece, wondering what their impressions will be on reading it. Is it good enough? Is
it clear? Is my point worth making?
Lastly, there’s the emotional writing—poems that come to me
during times of deep and raw feeling. Poetry, where every single word must have
pure meaning, saves me when grief, or fear or sometimes even joy, overwhelm me. I'm not sure sure I write poems as much as they find me and take me captive. Once one does, it's impossible for me to be free of it. I spend hours switching up words,
moving lines, feeling rhythm, counting meter. It’s a good
thing I don’t write too many poems, because when I do, I can’t stop. I sneak
copies of the poem-in-progress where ever I go. Pencil in changes. Replace words in my head while trying to sleep.
So, you ask, which is my favorite? All writing from which I
return blinking, oblivious to what is happening in the real world, is my favorite.
Funny story. At work, I am the editor of a monthly
newsletter and often have to write short snippets for filler. My office door is
always open, my back to the door. At least once a month, someone will pop in on me while
I’m writing one of these things and I jump sky high. I admit that sometimes an expletive
must be deleted. You see, even this kind of writing transports me to the point
I don't hear what’s happening around me. I’m not sure who is more startled by my reaction, me or the folks I work with, but lately
my office peers have begun to knock.
What's your favorite type of writing and how do you react when you are interrupted from your work?