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Common Impressions

Spoke to Yish–very briefly–but it was good. Moving from why I didn’t want to go to the opening of the Writers’ Festival I discovered he feels much the same way as I do about a certain book of poetry… & some previous publications. It means it’s not just me that’s reacting this way. I was beginning to worry that it was… that my ‘ear’ for poetry, for prose, for point in print had gone off key.

But it’s really not the not-knowing-what-to-say should I meet the writers that unsettles me most, it’s wondering how do I tell if I’ve written stuff like that & am putting it out? I don’t want to (and that’s my greatest fear in publishing–not fear, not success, just pointlessness) These are intelligent women who I respect and that’s why it scares the hell out of me.

I always assumed the way it works is: you write all you can. You push as hard as you can to get as much of your writing published or performed. The process of natural selection works to winnow out the chaff. Definition of chaff: the writing done as part of your process/progress en route to arriving at the stages or states where you produce the work you were put in this dimension in this body to create…

So how if you are better at pushing than at writing & all you get in print is chaff?

All right, just putting that down makes me feel calmer. But no–I won’t go to the festival opening tonight.

I will go to Suchen Christine Lim’s launch of Lies That Build A Marriage. I’ve got & read the book. Yes, definitely worth writing, publishing & purchasing.

I will also go to the Arthur Yap memorial evening. He did so much for me–his writing straight from the Singapore point of view in Singapore cadence as though it is the most natural thing to do just picked us all up out of being ex-colonial wannabes and made Singapore English our language to write, work, play, dream and grow in. And then of course I met him as a teacher and learned that a great writer can also be humble, self-deprecating and gentle–and rigorously, almost religiously, disciplined.

But I’ve just blogged away 30min of writing time. I should see whether I can complete Big Dog today… or at least reach 10 pages, filling in details…


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