I splurged last week on some new books. I spent 15$ at http://www.thriftbooks.com (seriously if you are broke and jonesing check them out), I picked up The Speed Chronicles, The Anatomy of Motive, And the Kurt Cobain Journals.
I had intended to only get the Speed Chronicles. If you’ve read me for a while you are probably already aware of my deep creepy love for Akashic Books. I have lusty thoughts about owning their entire catalog.
I have been rummaging in my brain to figure out something to have at my table at the Unchaste Readers thing in October. Aside from being so excited I kind of want to vomit when I think about doing the actual reading, I decided to do something small and beautiful in print for my table.
In the last few years as I’ve submitted, been rejected and been read by people who don’t actually know me it has become really important to me to follow these gut instinct things to make little things I find beautiful. The fact that anyone has already purchased any of them is such a strange.
I have a deep belief that even in the world where I am supposed to only ever present my work in a state of high polish and perfection that, my tiny ugly unedited things are beautiful. When I think about the things that I cherish and find beautiful they are usually not presented to the world as standard issue beautifully polished things.
I honestly get really tired of the push for perfection in all things writing that comes with noodling around the industry. As an author, especially one who is like me, unfamous, under represented, etc etc, there is this pressure to only present my best (or read as most perfect) face and work to the world.
I understand that the going wisdom is that good or worthy lit has this perfection.
That wisdom doesn’t fit me as I am on my own.
I can’t bring myself to be ashamed of my faults or the ugly spots. That being what it is, yes I will show you the things I do entirely on my own to the best of my ability and no they are not the edited polished things that a lot of the lit world wants.
I am okay with that.
When I do these little projects whether they are fiction or not I am putting my heart on a platter. This is the literary equivalent to me splattering the internet with pictures of myself after being sick for say two weeks and no make up and my hair uncombed, my fat out, my stretchmarks unaltered, looking gloriously unkempt and upsetting and being happy about it because it is me.
Over the years my attitude towards body politics seem to have invaded and taken root in so many other areas. My literary ambitions are among them.
Part of this may be due to me having never been a proper Academic. I did not go to college. I don’t have nor will I ever have an MFA. I did not do well in English classes in school often. For a long time I would not have said that in public. I used to have some deep awful shame about this so I taught myself. I made myself able to swim around with Academics out of shame and not love.
I can do that.
Right now I just choose not to because I figured out that I don’t have to, it doesn’t serve me and it’s just not who I am. I feel like that realization and letting go of that shame has been a fiery catalyst in how I have improved and grown as an author.
This isn’t to say that I don’t work really damn hard to present things to publishers as polished as I can make them on my own. I do. This isn’t really about that.
This is about the things I don’t want to give to publishers. The things that are too weird and raw and personal. Things that if I am going to be frank, don’t really have a market. The things that are part and parcel of me as a creator of things made of words.
This is my art. This is my heart. This is my blood and soul and I won’t hide it away and be embarrassed that no, NO I don’t always punctuate properly and sometimes things I write are technically ugly. That is okay. I don’t have to be ashamed of that anymore.
Now that’s all. I have a project I need to get cracking on.