Saturday, March 05, 2005

Literary Detox

I've avoided coming here for days because I've been battling my addiction. I really need an AA program: Authors Anonymous.

My life has become unmanageable because of writing, and it's not just writing, the physcial and cerebral--the emotional and the spiritual act, it's what writing does to others. I crave that "It was beautiful. It was lovely. It's exactly how I feel."

I hate this about me.

And that book. I now refer to it as that @#&!$# book. It's torturing me. Day and night, I claw the walls wondering. Will it sell? Will he (the editor) like it? What if he likes it but the committee doesn't like it? What if he and the committee like it but the marketing and sales department don't like it? What if he and the committee and marketing and sales department like it, and they buy it, and the lady with the alligator purse doesn't like it?

And my agent. What if the poor man really sees that nobody, especially the lady with the alligator purse, likes my writing? And then he won't keep me, and I'll DIE!!!!! I'll waste away, and be found clutching my unliked, unsold manuscript in my dead, cold, bony fingers, next to my dead, cold, bony ribs.

You see what I mean. I try to think of something else. I try to work on something else. I try to pray and IT JUST KEEPS COMING UP!!! THAT @#&!$# book. I hate that book, but...

I love that @#&!$# book. I wouldn't be actin' a fool if I didn't love it. I'm having physical withdrawal symptoms because the editor and agent have the book and I can't control what they think or will do.


Okay. I'm okay. The first step is admitting it, right? No matter that my response to my misery is to come here and write. I'm admitting it.

And I'm afraid to let it go. Not just the @#&!$# book, but what it is that deep, deep down I really want. I write because it can be fun, cathartic, freeing, and I'd like to think I'm even a little bit good at it, but you know what, I use it, because in the end, I write because I want to be loved, and I don't want you to forget about me.

Ouch! That really hurt to say.

I would have taken this whole thing down, cold turkey. You just look up one day, and there's no more ragamuffin diva, just a message that says blogger not found. But God says this doesn't belong to me, it belongs to him, and like all addictions, they have to be dealt with with grace, and humility, and letting go of what you think you need to do to fix it.

Somethings you just can't fix. Addictions, quite often, is one of them. I'll take the hand of grace over my own works, and the lies I could tell myself as I force the need--not for the work, but for the love, down down down until it's just a low murmur. And you know how repression is, the addiction--the desire is still there, and bound to come up in the most untimely, embarrassing ways. Like this heathen, wretched blog entry.

So, here God. For the thousanth, thousanth time, take this, and give me grace and a bit of your peace. Help me to let go of what the editors, and committees, and ladies with alligator purses will say, and let me find you in the empty space it leaves behind. Turn my desert into a garden, show me Your love, and let me know that I don't need these words like I need You.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Now, I must go. I'll see you when I'm not strung out anymore. Don't forget that I love you. As much as an addict can.

Say a little prayer for me. Okay?


osray said...

It's time to relax and be patient. Let go and let God (through others) work things out for you. Your gift and talent will not go un-noticed. You know how to tweak the letters into words into sentences into chapters etc... now tweak your self into believing how real life is.

Katy said...

Diva--My name is Katy and I'm an addict, too. Blogging does give aspiring authors the "love" fix they'd have to wait a long time for in the traditional publishing world.

I complained to a very close friend of mine about this years ago. "I should probably lay this writing thing down," I said. "I use it to get attention, to get love...I'm so insecure.." She's known me since we were 17 and new Christians. She said, "God knows all that! He's given you a gift. He might want you to lay it down for a season, but ultimately He wants you to use it! Every thing that's happened to you has worked together to make you into a writer..."

I've never forgotten her words. God is merciful to us, addicts! I'm going to keep on, try not to think about the lady with the alligator purse, and maybe join you at an AA session or two...

Blessings to you.

Hope said...

I love your writing. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. And I know I would love your @#&!$# book!

Sometimes I wonder why God gives us such gifts only to find us feeling so insecure about them. Why aren't we insecure about the gifs we don't have instead of the ones we do? I wish I could sing beautifully but I can't. I envy people who can but I don't feel insecure about my singing. I feel insecure about my writing. How weirdly human is that?!

Will light a candle today.... and pray God's peace for you.

bobbie said...

oh girlfriend, you close this blog and i will have to hunt you down!

screw the lady with the alligator purse - she doesn't read anyway! write for this messed up wretch that sits in her kitchen and tries to connect with the kingdom in any way she knows how.

your voice is so important claudia - when you speak the truth in love it resonates and resounds so deeply in our souls.

i for one will drop my $ on it as soon as it hits the shelves woman! you are an author-diva and the world is only waiting to find that out! :) love you!

Dee said...

Lord, have mercy.

You are an off the hook writer. Don't fret.

Believe me. I've reviewed and read a ridiculous amount of CF books and yours speak to the soul. You here me.

I am so tired of romance religion books. Girl. Girl. I know I'm not the only one.

But I do share your pain. I want to write what my soul wants to say, but will it sell. Lord, have mercy. I don't know, but at least your book is done and in some good hands. Mine is at the tip of my fingers...waiting....

Don't detox.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Well I had a bunch I wanted to say when I read your post. But Bobby basically said what I wanted to say... so scroll on back up there and read her post. ;-)

Praying for you, Claudia. Don't quit writing. I for one would be very sad to never read anything by you again. I meet God here in your blog. I connect with His Kingdom here. I have church right here in your little blogdom. Bless you Claudia.

Heather who is also an addict

Geo said...

You my Ragamuffin are EXACTLY where Father wants you! Please don't go away without letting all of us your family know where you are. We love you and are sure you are in just the right place at this time in your journey.


Candy said...

claudia - I ditto bobbie too. she said it. we care about you. we love you. your words are His words. please please please keep writing in some form and let us know. He speaks to my heart thru your words. redundant, but honest.

Larry said...

Rags, you wrote "...but you know what, I use it, because in the end, I write because I want to be loved, and I don't want you to forget about me.

I think if you look under the surface of any writer, painter, sculptor or actor you'll find someone who "doesn't want anyone to forget them." For that matter, look under the surface of a CEO or president.

Even I, independent as I am, would like someone to know I'm alive. Nowadays I've pretty much given up on the idea--it'll never happen--but I keep writing because I've gotten into the habit and it helps me think.

Right now I'm in a rather odd place. It's as if all the doors to normal relationships have closed. I'm tired of putting all the energy into them and getting nothing back; it's like trying to start a fire with wet wood. And yet, behind all those failed supposed friendships is God.

God knows I'm alive. He knows who I am, knows my real Name and wants to teach it to me. I'm used to letting other people fill in for the holes in my self-name. I'm not sure about this, but God might be limiting my contact with others just so that I will concentrate on him.

The upshot? No one else really matters. Woman with alligator purse, editors, decision makers. Only God's opinion matters... and he's thoroughly, completely in love with you. And me.

Your audience may be limited to those who read your Blog, but God doesn't really care about numbers. If your posts reached only one other person, God would be just as delighted, but you reach several. Maybe ten or eleven. Mine reach two or three, and God tells me to keep on.

We come from a badly broken world. Writing is a way for broken people to communicate in a way less threatening than face-to-face. If you have to quit, I understand, but I hope you'll keep writing. Your stories help my own flagging courage. One more step.

Trae said...

Hey, I'd read the @#&!$# book. I can't wait to read the @#&!$# book now that I know there may be a @#&!$# book. And I read your blog all the time. If you took it down I'd go into withdrawal and I like my addiction.
By the way, be warned. If this ever happens,

" What if the poor man really sees that nobody, especially the lady with the alligator purse, likes my writing? And then he won't keep me, and I'll DIE!!!!! I'll waste away, and be found clutching my unliked, unsold manuscript in my dead, cold, bony fingers, next to my dead, cold, bony ribs."

I will pry the @#&!$# book from those bony fingers because I'm sure it's fantastic and my picture would look great on a dust jacket ;)