3 Great Things and 1 Sad Thing

Great Thing One. We’re currently freaking out about Third Point Press. Founded by writer Matthew Kabik, TPP aims to publish beautiful issues of stories, poems, and art three times a year, with 1/3 of the content coming from local and regional artists and writers. The first issue of this online publication went live Friday. It includes work by Le Hinton, Elizabeth Mercurio, Liz Laribee, Michelle Johnsen, Alyssa Giannini, Michael Salgado, Travis Macdonald, and other amazing writers. We’re biased because Erin and I both work on the editorial board for the press, but seriously this thing kicks so much ass.

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Great Thing 2. On June 6th the funniest and most un-miss-able event will be happening at Modern Art in Lancaster. Embarrassed! is our take on the “mortified” or “embarrassment” reading, where writers, artists, and actors will share creative work they made when they were teenagers and/or young adults. This will likely include:

  • dramatic readings of journal entries
  • performances of angsty, teen-love ballads
  • recitations of 10th grade poetry assignments
  • recordings of school plays or recitals

You name it: if it’s embarrassing, creative, and yours, please come and share it with us. You can sign up to share by emailing us at thetrianglepa (at) gmail dot com. Modern Art is taking it an exciting step further and curating a show of embarrassing visual art, photographs, fashion and other teenaged artifacts. Email them your ideas or submissions at jo (at) itsmodernart dot com.

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Great Thing Three. Ten days after our night of shared embarrassment/nostalgia at Modern Art, on Tuesday, June 16th, The Triangle will be hosting our last (see Sad Thing One) reading, a night of flash-fiction, at Zoetropolis Art House. The reading is called To The Quick! because we want stories that are very very very short. The featured reader, Edward Mullany, comes to us from NYC, and he’s the author of the trilogy, If I Falter at the Gallows, Figures for an Apocalypse, and The Three Sunrises (all from Publishing Genius Press). Mullany’s work is honestly like nothing else; his first two books are novels told in micro-fiction, where each story (or chapter?) is around 100 words each. I’ve never been more excited to hear someone read. The venue is awesome, too. Zoetropolis is an independent movie theater. There are couches and comfy chairs. It’s got that dark, secret vibe that takes the literary reading back to the golden age of dimly lit coffee-houses and smoky bars. The reading starts at seven, and costs seven bucks to get in. IT INCLUDES AN OPEN, so if you have a story that you can read in 5 minutes or less, bring it!

Here’s a video compilation of our last flash fiction reading, which took place in the Fall of 2014 at It’s Modern Art:

SAD THING ONE. The Triangle will be taking an indefinite hiatus beginning in July. This fall, I’m going to be attending grad school in Minnesota, so Erin and I are moving. The decision to leave southcentral PA has been a very difficult one, but we’re as excited for a new adventure as we are saddened about having to leave this place we love. Unfortunately, this site will be less active over the next two years, although we do plan to try and find a volunteer to keep up the calendar of local events. There has been an exciting and active literary community in this region long before The Triangle formed two years ago, and that community will continue to blossom without us. It’s hard to know, but we very well may be back in a few years.

So, what this all means, is that you should make it a priority to come to one of the June events! We’ve got a ton of new stickers, so there’s another incentive to come hang out in June.

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Interview with Curtis Smith

I got lost twice on my way to meet Curtis Smith in Hershey. He’s lived here for thirty-three years. I’d been there a handful of times as a teenager for trips to the Medical Center and the amusement park (the two landmarks by which everything else is measured). As I drove through downtown Hershey, I looked around, felt stupid, thought to myself, “Wow, there’s actually a city here.” Eventually, I arrived at a coffee shop right across from (you guessed it) the Hershey Medical Center, where our conversation began on topics like getting lost, the woes of local traffic, and Steve Almond.

“Steve and I read at a thing at Rosemont College,” Curtis remembered, “I got to drive him around. I was like, ‘Yeah I know where I’m going, I live here,’ and I made a wrong turn into a dead end and he’s like ‘Are you sure?’. He looked worried.”

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Oh, navigation. How do we find ourselves, and then put ourselves in the direction we want to go? How do we end up in the place we imagine? This figures heavily into Curtis Smith’s newest book, Communion, a collection of essays about his son (a teenager dealing with the realization that he’s not the center of the universe) and himself (a parent with the special privilege in aiding with that navigation). With exceeding grace and insight, Curtis writes about the context-building and map-making of raising a human on the verge of social consciousness.

Communion was just released this March by Dock Street Press, and I knew I wanted to ask Curtis about parenting and the changes he’d experienced since Witness, his previous collection of essays (which centered on the early days of parenthood). However, I’ve learned that by the time a book comes out, its author is usually knee-deep in other projects. So, after some gushing about Steve Almond, Kurt Vonnegut, and the beauty of south central PA, I started our interview there, although we’d return time and time again to Vonnegut.

What are you most excited about? … I want to talk, eventually, about Communion, but I want to first focus on the project that you are currently most looking forward to. 

“The thing I’m always most excited about is the thing that’s on my table. You know, I have the new book coming out, but it’s hard to be excited about that because it’s done, and now it’s the time to do your business. You have to go outside your comfort zone, doing readings, calling people. But I should get my copies this week, which is always really exciting.

But I just finished a new book, which’ll be out next Spring from Ig publishing. They’re out of Brooklyn. Have you ever seen the 33 & 1/3 series?

Yeah. I love those. In high school I read the Neutral Milk Hotel one, and I the one on OK Computer.

Yeah, so this is like a book version of 331/3, where they contact writers to write about a favorite book. So, myself and Kirby Gann are going to be the first to do it. Then I think it’s Aaron Burch and Paula Bomer doing the next two. So I just finished that project, and I didn’t think I was going to like it, but it was a really great experience. I’m still kind of off the buzz of that.

And I’m also starting a new novel. I always have a novel, a short story cycle, and a non-fiction piece going, and I always juggle those three. Like “Oh I’m tired of my novel” and I put it in a box with a little note on the top reminding myself where I left off. Then I’ll pull it back out after awhile. But yeah, so I’m excited about the novel, but still coming down off of completeing the Ink book.

What book did you do for the Ink series?

I did Slaughter-house Five.

That’s one of my favorite books.

I saw him at Lebanon Valley College a few years back. It was the 50th anniversary of Dresden, and he was doing a little tour. I went back and tried to be faithful to the book by writing mine in little fragmented scenes. I tried to weave personal essays through it but also I tried to weave through a history of slaughter, mankind’s slaughter, and PTSD. It was really a new kind of writing for me.

Was that the first time you’d done a book-length piece of writing that was creative journalism?

Yeah. It was the first time. But it was also the first time I’d gotten paid for a book before writing it, which was weird. It was a little bit of pressure. I felt weird cashing the check. Because what if I can’t do it? But it came. And I think I picked a good book for it too, because I like writing short, fragmented things. I think it fit my style really well.

Communion seems to be very much about your son, and parenting, and the process of the parent and son growing up at the same time. Can you talk a little bit about the themes and what inspired the book?

Well I never thought I’d be a non-fiction writer. I never wanted to write essays. But there was this literary magazine I always wanted to get into. They always turned down my fiction. Then they had this special non-fiction issue, so I thought, “Okay, I’ll try that.” So, I got in. Essays have always been hard for me to write, but I think having a fiction writer’s toolbox made that transition better. My essays seemed to get placed quicker than my fiction, but its still harder for me to write essays.

I started writing this cycle of essays for my first non-fiction book. They were about the early days of parenthood, the things I was learning, not about him, but about me. I thought I was done there, but then my son hit a certain age that a child’s perception changes. He’s not the center of the world anymore. It begins to dawn on him that: the world is a fucked up place, there’s all this crazy stuff in it, and where do I fit in? So that kind of started the whole cycle for this book: what happens when your child leaves that sort of fragile bubble. Then there are my reflections on that. That’s basically the heart of the book.

I also tackle some other things like Death, Religion, Faith—how to teach him about Religion if I’m not a really religious guy—you know things I really encountered with this new phase of parenting.

Did you write with an audience in mind for this book?

No, I just write and when it comes time to submit them I think about the right venue, the best fitting literary mag for it. I think this has maybe a bigger readership than my fiction does, because a lot of readers have kids.

Does parenting get easier or harder?

Haha. It gets different. I think that’s the only thing you can say. For me, the first three years were kind of crazy. My son was a little mad-man. He’d be in here running around. All the sudden, reason popped in. He became this little person. Each stage is different. He’s on the verge of being a teenager right now, so check in with me in about five years when my hair is grey and he’s out riding around.

I think each stage is a challenge. But I’ll take challenges the whole way through. It’s a good ride.

Is your son a reader?

He’s reading 1984 right now. He read Animal Farm and thought it was really cool, so now he’s on to that. He’s reading it every day. He likes history and right now his focus is actually nuclear power. He’s always on his device, researching things and learning. He goes through cycles of interests, keeps me on my toes. He’s always learning.

If you’re familiar with new common core standards for high school: it’s 75% non-fiction and 25% fiction/literature . Which is a shame, because that 25% is going to be like a dogfight between novels, stories, poetry, and drama. So I’m glad to be fostering a reading of fiction at home. Which is good, and he likes it. He wants to read Catcher in the Rye, and Of Mice and Men next.

I often think that I missed out by not getting into reading, or connecting with it, seeing the value in it, until about 11th grade. Once I did, I got obsessed. But I think that if I had been that kid growing up who’s reading all the time, reading early, I’d be like that much further ahead, with a step up.

Well I feel the same way about writing. I look and see all these very young people with a passion for writing, and I didn’t start until I was in my late twenties. When I was starting to write, I was actually about to go into woodwork. I always loved woodwork. If I could paint, I would have been a visual artist. But writing seemed to fit my sensibilities the best.

I’m going to shift focus a little bit, but use the same frame of questioning from before. Does writing get easier or harder?

I started writing in my late twenties. I’m 55 now, so [i’ve been writing for] 26-27 years. It’s definitely gotten easier in that what used to take me three hours now takes me about one hour. But I have a process. I’m very process-driven sort of guy. I have a format that works for me that I stick to—and of course I move around with in that—I think as you do anything, if you’re a woodworker, a gardener, the practice makes it easier in time.

You get to know that voice. You keep asking yourself the same questions over and over: Is the sentence ending in the right place? Does this sound right? Am I respecting the intelligence of my reader? After a certain point, these questions, you don’t even need to think about them anymore. It’s reflexive.

So I think that the process has gotten easier. Now, I might run out of things to say after awhile, but who knows? Vonnegut said that at 55 everyone’s done. But then, he wrote one of my favorite novels when he was 65.

How long have you lived in the area? Where did you grow up?

I grew up right outside of Philadelphia, in Ardmore. I went to Kutztown for college. When I was getting ready to graduate there was a posting for this job in Hershey, and I applied, I got it. So I moved here in ’82 and have lived here ever since.

Do you find yourself using this setting in your work? Do you write about southcentral PA?

I love to hike, to be outside. I do a lot of woodsy stuff. I set a lot of stories a little bit north of here, in more mountainous terrain. I don’t write too much about Philadelphia anymore. But this is my home, this is the place I’m comfortable with. This is the back drop for a lot of things in my work.

Have you been involved in literary community throughout the years?

I had a writing group early on, after school, but I pretty much worked on my own. Maybe if there were some more things going on, I would have. But it fits my personality type. I’m a quiet, sort of by-myself person. A hermit.

Over the years, when have you found writing time? You teach, so you’ve got your summers, but is that it?

I write every day. I get up at 4:30. I write for an hour every morning, and then about 40 minutes after my son goes to bed at night. It’s my routine.

What are you looking forward to about retiring?

I would like to keep busy, teach college, see another end to things. I love my kids at school, but I’d like to see another end of the population, more motivation. But there’ll also be a lot more time for writing. More time to do things with the family. When I was young, after a week of teaching. I’d be like yeah lets go out on Friday. But you get tired fast. Fridays now are like: okay I need to recover from that week. So, it’ll be really nice. All the retired people I know are the happiest. They look ten years younger.

How does it feel to be about to retire at a time when your son—about to be a teenager—is entering one of the most formative times of his life? Most of the time, for parents, those ages don’t line up.

Yeah, my wife and I got started late. But, it’s exciting. I’m going to have a lot more time to be with him, to support him, and to write. And with him at that age, I’m going to probably have a lot more to write about.

May Event Highlights around the Triangle

April was national poetry month, but May is national short story month. Lit never sleeps. If you’re searching for south-central PA literary events to attend this May, look no further. Here are some of the May highlights: 

  • May 5th: Poetry Paths,  Kids Poetry Reading – Lancaster’s former poet Laureate and current Poet-in-the-schools, Barbara Strasko, has been teaching poetry  to local youngsters for the past few years. Come out to hear the work of fourth, fifth and sixth graders as they read their work live. This reading will also celebrate the release of the 6th edition of the Poetry Paths Kids Poetry Journal. You can support the program, hear poetry of the next generation, and pick up a copy of the brand new journal. 5:30 to 8:30 at the Roschel Theatre on the Franklin and Marshall College campus.
  • May 13th: Will to Read: Shakespeare Aloud – Come to Lancaster Public Library (415 Harrisburg Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603) for a lecture and discussion based on one of Shakespeare’s plays. This event will be held from 6:00-7:30 pm in the Windolph Room.
  • Sunday, May 15th-17th: Pennwriters 2015 Conference – Are you looking for inspiration or guidance to fuel your writing? Learn from famous writers other industry insiders at the Pennwriters 2015 Conference in Pittsburgh. For more information about speakers, pricing, and dates, visit www.pennwriters.org
  • Saturday, May 16th: (in Lancaster)  Poets Longenecker, Kinch, and Weaver-Kreider to Read – Meet local authors in Lancaster at the Freiman Stoltzfus Gallery (142 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603). The reading will feature three poets who will also be available to sign books. A free reservation is required. Please visit www.lmhs.org or call (717) 393-9745 to RSVP.
  • Saturday, May 16th: (in York) Community Arts Ink Presents A Special Night of Interactive Spoken Word Theatre – Features for this unique spoken word event include Ms. Reign, Devlon Waddell & Slangston Hughes. The featured readers are coming from New York City, and Baltimore/DC, respectively. Come out to G’s Jook Joint (111 E Princess St, York, Pennsylvania 17401) at 8pm, and bring 5-10$.

We hope to see you at one of these events! Keep checking the calendar for new events, and let us know of any literary happenings that aren’t posted our calendar by emailing us at thetrianglepa [at] gmail [dot] com.

What You Need to Know About HIPPOCAMP 2015

Donna Talarico, founder of the creative non-fiction powerhouse Hippocampus Magazine, always has ideas. Often, Donna acts on these ideasthey take the form of a story, a memoir, a news article, a blog, or even a magazine. Sometimes, they take the form of a national writing conference.

That conference, dubbed Hippocamp, will take place between August 7-9th, 2015. The gathering will make Lancaster city the temporary home of creative non-fiction writers from all over the country. Hippocamp is billed as a “…three-day event [that] will feature notable speakers, engaging sessions in three tracks, interactive panels, readings, social activities, networking opportunities, readings, and optional, intimate pre- and post-conference workshops.”

Basically, it’s the one place you want to find yourself this summer if you write memoir, creative journalism, essay, or even poetry. Here are what I consider to be some of the biggest highlights:

1. Lee Gutkind is a keynote speaker. If you’ve ever used the phrase, “Creative non-fiction”, you can thank Lee, as he coined it. He’s written 25 books, a writer in residence at Arizona State University, a professor, and (maybe most notably) the founder and editor of the literary magazine, Creative Nonfiction. There’s no writer more suited to be the keynote speaker of a CNF conference. Mr. Gutkind also sports a well-kept, snow-white beard. Come see him (and his beard) in person.

2. It takes place in beautiful, booming, downtown Lancaster. Readers of the Triangle might not need to be convinced of this point, but since the conference is likely to be full of attendees from all over the country, I urge you to consult Erin’s article “Hippocamp Survival Guide“, which details the highlights of Lancaster city’s cafes, restaurants, and quiet spaces. The main point I’d like to make is that with most conferences, planning for travel and hotels really drives up total cost. If you’re local, this conference is your chance to save some money while learning from and mingling with writers from all across the publishing industry.

3. The panelists, speakers, presenters, and workshop leaders are some of the best in the genre. There are over twenty guest presenters, ranging from publishing writers, teachers, community organizers, editors, and agents. Here are some I’m particularly excited about: Sarah Einstein, whose book, Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015) is the recent winner of the AWP Series Prize in Creative Non Fiction; professor and essayist Robert Long Foreman, whose work has three times been listed on the list of Notable Essays in Best American Essays; poet, playwright, arts educator, and hula hooper Jenny Hill, whose work as an editor and designer at Paper Kite Press is beautiful; author Jim Breslin, the mad scientist behind the West Chester Story Slam, the Delco Story Slam, and most recently, the wildly popular Lancaster Story Slam.

4. You can make invaluable connections with other writers, readers, agents, and editors. Just like the magazine that preceded it, the conference aims to “entertain, educate, and engage”. So you can expect to hear great stories, learn important skills in craft, marketing, and publishing, and meet writers from diverse backgrounds and levels of success. The connections made at literary conferences, since you’re in such close proximity to so many talented and engaged writers, are invaluable. Come to have fun, learn a lot, and make lasting connections with people from all aspects of the literary world.

5. Early-bird registration gives you a discount on the registration fee, and is open until May 15th.Your conference rate includes access to all sessions, panels and social events (…and it also includes a reception, some meals, and snacks). If you want to save some money by only attending specific workshops or events at the festival, there are plenty of single-session registration options. 

BONUS: Did we mention there’s a book fair? You can go home with so many souvenirs. So much lit; don’t be afraid of it.

Visual Interview: Allegra Hyde

For Visual Interviews we send a writer a disposable camera and a list of ideas to photograph along with a few short questions. Once the camera is mailed back, we develop the photos and arrange them collage style to give you a unique glimpse into the life of the writer we’ve selected. Check out past Visual Interviews and stay tuned because we have Alissa Nutting, Alexandra Naughton, Roxane Gay, Luna Miguel, and Matthew Simmons and Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Publishing coming up over the next couple of months!

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Allegra Hyde writes amazing short stories and essays.

Interview curated by Erin Dorney and Tyler Barton. Photographs and text by Allegra Hyde: Arizona flora; Allegra Hyde’s primary mode of transportation; local chickens on the move; something irreplaceable; something that would make a great story but Allegra Hyde will never write about; Allegra Hyde’s desk; Allegra Hyde’s hands; a sign that represents Allegra Hyde; Allegra Hyde loves mail; tarot; something you’ll only find in Arizona.

April Literary Events Around the Triangle

Are you looking for ways to celebrate National Poetry Month in South Central Pennsylvania? There are plenty of amazing literary events happening in April! Check out some of the highlights below, and don’t forget to stay updated with the Triangle through our blog and calendar.

April Highlights:

  • April 11th & 12th: the 13th Annual Spoken Word Poetry FestivalThis annual poetry performance hosted by the Theatre of the Seventh Sister is being held over two days (this Saturday and Sunday) at the Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster in downtown Lancaster. The spoken word reading is like no other, including familiar local writers, high school students, and grandparents. Come see written works burst into life on the stage at 7pm on Saturday or Sunday.
  • April 18th: Mid-Atlantic Region Small Press Expo. Come out and enjoy free readings, workshops, book signings, and more at the Strand-Capitol in York. The expo begins at 11:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm.
  • April 23rd: Andrea Gibson at Tobacco Avenue. Andrea Gibson is a widely acclaimed poet and activist from Colorado. Her poetry has garnered over one million views on YouTube and the title of the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam. This isn’t Gibson’s first time in Lancaster; when she was at the Ware Center in the Spring of 2013, over 300 people were in attendance! Tickets are $11 in advance and $16 at the door. Gibson’s show is from 7-9 pm at Tobacco Avenue in Lancaster.
  • April 28th: Lancaster Story Slam: Love Hurts. The Lancaster Story Slam theme for the month of April is “Love Hurts”. Join us for a memorable night of storytelling from 8-10 pm at Tellus360 in Lancaster. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door.

If you know of any events that aren’t on our calendar (or you just want to say hello), feel free to contact us at thetrianglepa@gmail.com. We hope to see you at an event!

My Open Letter to the Writing Life

In 2011, I enrolled in Arcadia University’s MFA, and if we’re trying to pinpoint where the writing life began for me, it might as well be right there. That moment I submitted my application and, rather quickly, heard back that I was accepted (rather quickly in this case due to my application a mere day before they stopped accepting applications).

Really we could look back as far as my childhood and sensitivity and unsure footing in school, but I think we all have those stories, and those don’t generally dictate that we’ll become writers. Sometimes it means we’ll be musicians or drug addicts or abusers or quiet, careful people who can’t bear to think about inconveniencing anyone at all. In my case, it was becoming a writer, more or less, and one that started their journey to the writing life through the pressure of his wife and some sense that an MFA was the next logical step.

So it’s 2011 and I’m starting my writing life. I meet my cohort, I write feverishly and submit and feel important and not important. I learn that I can’t get away with this, but I can get away with that, and I form up the voice in writing that I’ve had sometime in 2012, I’d say. I get cocky about it. I get publication credits to my name and go to Scotland and feel a bit like I’m invincible, which even then I know isn’t true. I watch family members die and write down how I’m feeling to use later on. I begin using everything as material—I stop looking at life as a stage and more as source material. I don’t care if I impress anyone as much as I care about writing stories that are impressive.

And then I graduate, and I join my little writing group from fellow cohort members, and I venture out into the wilds of writing after the program. I still get published; I still push myself to write. I still feel a bit like I know what I’m doing. Earlier this year I became the editor of Third Point Press, and that feels good, too. It feels like a natural progression. Like I am making a difference and giving back to writing; to the writing life.

All things being equal, though, it doesn’t add up. For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking: what the hell has writing really done for me? What am I getting back? Why the hell am I pushing myself so hard?

First, a bit of my thinking on this. Let me feed you the cynicism as well as the understanding: I know that there isn’t money and rarely fame. I know that writers tell each other they do it for the love of writing. I know you need to put in your time before you get anywhere. I know it’s a thing for passion and not for paycheck. I get it. Really, I do.

But I also don’t quite have enough money to let passion fill my belly. My blinders aren’t nearly so effective as to block out the return on investment of my effort. For a long time I wrote because writing felt better than not writing. I wrote because it was how I defined myself—I am a creative and a writer so I write. But—sometime between getting the MFA and now, that stopped being true. I don’t like thinking about writing or actually writing or revising. I think about the whole process, from start to finish, and then look at what I get out of it: a story maybe a dozen people will read and enjoy. Maybe even a few retweets/likes on Twitter, or another lit mag will ask me to send them some work so I can restart the whole process again.

And I’m writing this letter to you, writing life, because I don’t get it. I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with you.

How am I supposed to convince myself that it’s worth it to struggle and dislike and doubt myself over and over just so I can send my stories out to the dozen who will read it? How should I make the scale balance on that one? It’s great to say that I write for the love of it, but what is there to love?

I wrote up a simple tweet yesterday: Thinking about taking a year off writing. I was met with a response that was overwhelmingly no no no wait. I don’t at all think that anyone who told me to reconsider were doing so out of fear or malice, but deep down I thought that part of staying in the writing life is to make sure that nobody pulls back the curtain. By denying how one-sided this thing is, we can deny that it’s crazy to be part of it—all of us, so long as all of us convince ourselves we can muscle through the nonsense of being a craftsperson who doesn’t get rewarded for their effort.

And I guess that’s the rub: it seems so incredibly wrong, but I can’t settle how much writers (especially, though other artists fall into the same trap) are willing to grind away at creation knowing they will get next to nothing out of it. I write this not as a revelation—I think we all know it—but more as an acknowledgement. I see it, writing life. I see what it is I signed up for.

So now I’m considering a break, and most folks have recommended something akin to that anyway (though, intelligently, suggesting I fill that time with something else creative to keep the exercise up). As I’m overseeing a lit mag, I think I won’t be hard pressed to keep myself occupied. That being said, I wonder if I’ll even be able to “give up” on writing—more likely it will be I stop submitting my work, I stop involvement in my writing group, and just generate material without any expectation of anyone else seeing it. That might be worth it. That might stop this race I’ve been having since 2011 and allow me to rest up a bit. At least get some of the cynicism out of my mind.

And I wonder how many writers experience this and keep it all in—how many of them punish themselves for not having what it takes. I think about Bukowski saying that if you need to work hard at it, you shouldn’t. I think about how dumb it is to think about Bukowski. I imagine myself not being a writer anymore and what I’d be instead (those who can, do. Those who can’t, become editors?). I realize this is probably just some funk that I’ve been ignoring for a few months, I need to face it head on and address it. I listen to my writerly friends telling me to suck it up or to take a break or to listen to what feels best.

The writing life isn’t an easy one. It’s not one that makes you feel like a master or like you’re getting back what you put into it. It’s not something that pays off—at least not in my experience (again—I’m super new at all of it, and I recognize that), and it’s not something that pays the bills.

I guess what it comes down to is I don’t know how to fix it, and I don’t know if I’d even have the energy to try had I a solution. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be worth it, and when I sit down to write I feel like I’m just lining myself up for another story to throw into the sea of already existing stories. Right at this moment I’m content in stepping away and seeing where that takes me, and whether that’s a month-long process (I suspect much longer, as I can go a month without writing by accident) or it’s a yearlong one, it’s one I think I’m itching to take.

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