Friday, March 14, 2008

on creative buddies

i have a writing buddy. i met her a couple years ago. she curates a salon for artists of color. a while back, she sent out a call for people wanting to present at the salon. i wrote back something like, "i have a short story or two that i would love to present, but i'm shy." i ended up not presenting at the salon for many reasons, but she said, "i'd love to look at your writing, tho." and thus began our relationship as writing buddies.

i've been very flattered that she is my writing buddy. i feel like she's way ahead of me. she's pretty well published. and in a lot of ways, she is more serious about being a "writer" than i am. and she could easily choose someone else as a writing buddy. (actually, i'm pretty sure she does. i think she has multiple writing buddies. which is okay, since we are in a non-monogamous writing buddy relationship.) every time i meet with her, i feel rather lucky. she's picked over my writing many times, to the point that she has corrected my GRAMMAR and even hand-written suggestions for rephrasing. all this from a lambda-nominated novelist. but the feelings seem mutual. at the end of our meetings, we thank each other profusely: "wow! you've given me so much to think about!"

and i'm realizing i need more of that. after writing my post of "wants" i have thought long about my ideas of failure. i realize, i need to push the crap more. and i need more eyes and ears. to me, this means, i must write more, and i absolutely MUST start putting on in-progress performances. i need feedback. which is always hard. i have memories of some in-progress shows that still make my ears ring out of humiliation. but i think humility is in order.

i've started asking more and more people to look at my work. i try to take a large swath, for three reasons: 1. i want to see how my writing "reads" to different demographics of people; 2. i want as many suggestions as possible; and 3. if i get really harsh feedback from one person, it will be put in perspective--kinda, sorta.

so here is the thing. i'm asking you, my readers, to become my creative buddies.

i'm not going to post in-progress writing or work here, per se. that's a bit too vulnerable for me. instead, i ask that if you would like to read my work (some of it finished-ish, some of it in-progress), please leave a comment or email me. i will then send my work to you via email. in return, i would be willing to read/look at any of your work and will give my best constructive criticism. if you are not an active artist, i can offer you a hug, or a song, or an acknowledgment in any possible future publications.

credentials (you know, so that you can know i would be worth your time and that my critiques might be helpful) : i write music, performance art scores (sometimes referred to as "scripts" or "plays") and fiction. most of my fiction takes place in japan. most of my music is minimalist or experimental. i've also been called a filmmaker and have screened works, but my lack in the video camera ownership department has hindered this particular medium for three years.

so, here goes. i'm taking a big breath about this post. it could be really awesome, or kinda dramatic, or disappointing, or just... anticlimactic. well. we'll see!

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