From what perspectives do you approach your art??????????

The title of this blog post is a real-life excerpt from an e-mail I just received from Cara (whose chapbook, as I have mentioned, you should purchase). Does anyone have an answer I can borrow?

If there had only been, like, eight question marks, I would have tried to get away with an answer like “from my perspective,” but the 10th one really just demands that I try a little harder. I’m featuring at Common Ground on Thursday, which is all kinds of exciting. Except that I’m also a little anxious, and I thought the theme was going to be “growth,” not “perspectives.” Now I am all discombobulated and trying to figure out what my perspectives are.

Clearly, I am at an articulation peak and will have no trouble speaking in front of people. I’ve been working on edits for my chapbook, after having given myself the arbitrary deadline of June 30 a few weeks ago. Three times in the last week, I did this weird thing where I let other people read my work, which was nerve-wracking and vulnerability-causing, which I suppose could seem surprising, since I’m blogging about feeling vulnerable right now, as if I have absolutely no filters or sense of shame. But hey, I am just a mass of contradictions and feelings.

Making things more awkward and squishy, the chapbook has now become exclusively love poems, since there are so few poems about other things that they awkwardly stood out. (Thanks to Cara for reading the unedited collection of everything, and lending her perspective,* helping me to finish breaking me out of the not-editing slump of the last 10 or so months.)

Wow, this post has, like, no connecting narrative thread. I just wanted to say that I’m excited to be writing more, and even though I feel strange and vulnerable about letting people see all of my poems (and my one secret short story) as a collection, I have also felt completely energized over the past week, and more motivated to write than I have in … maybe the past decade. I’m learning how to get over the fear of being judged, and also learning how to push past wanting first drafts to work immediately. I think I actually prefer editing to writing, so having something to go back and tinker with is immensely rewarding, but it requires putting things down on paper (or in digital 0s and 1s).

Umm, artists. It’s nice to be around them. Also, incidentally, I think the universe is teaching me a lesson in dramatic irony. I bartered with a co-worker, that I would write her artist bio if she would let me take on a book-binding apprenticeship. We did a whole interview, and then I spent good chunks of the rest of the day narrating everything around me in her artist’s perspective. And then I went and checked my e-mail and discovered that I owe Common Ground a bio, too. And then I realized that describing your perspective on art is hard.**

* See, brought it back to the theme!

* Writing someone else’s bio, however, is fun! And my co-worker likes the one I wrote for her, even though I printed it out in Comic Sans, with her name in orange and blue Word Art at the top. I am kind of a jerk sometimes.

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