In the next day or so, I’ll explain the completely serendipitous coincidence between me using the ’67 pyromaniacal Hendrix episode as the launchpad for my own life-changes and the fact that I spent the night sleeping on that very stage two nights ago. I was in Monterey for a week, and blogging was just simply off the menu in any meaningful sense.
During my week there, I received an email from the as-yet-unnamed publication, stating that my idea for an article was intriguing, and they would like to see it.
Talk about wow. I’ve never exactly been in this position before. I’m sending them something that I hope draws upon the best of my abilities. They might actually like it. They might actually pay me for it.
Kinda strange. An awkward, sort-of-Streisandic form of stage fright that now sets in; my stuff is now going to be on the block for evaluation by another. Sure, blogging is also that in a way, but the revulsion of readers here will simply manifest itself in absence. Anyone wanting to channel-9 this blog swill simply have to do so by the passive act of not showing up.
Now–I face the possibility that I will do my best work-and still not have it harmonize with the vision of the magazine somehow. That’s not something to which I am accustomed. It’s also a pressure-chamber I better get used to.
Although I’ve never written for a magazine, I did get some sense of the editing process in my final paper for my graduate program. It had to be a 40-60 page paper (or more if we wanted it longer) that we defended before a committee of our choosing. By default, my committee chair was my editor. He was a very good editor who took his job seriously. My paper did not go to the rest of my committee for approval until he “okayed” it and passed it along. After writing 52 pages of what I considered good work, I submitted my first draft to him. His response back was painful. It was more than painful… it was a blow to my writing self-esteem. Keep in mind I almost always received “A’s” on research papers I did for my program, so I thought I was a pretty good writer. His comments, although helpful in many cases, were not made with my feelings in mind. They were made in order for me to produce a better paper. Eventually I did just that, by taking his advice and the advice of my committee members who also gave me feedback once my paper finally got past my committee chair.
The real editing process is painful. However, it is designed to make your writing better. If one goes into writing to boost one’s self-esteem, it’s a lost cause as far as I am concerned. Writing for publication appears to be one of the more humiliating experiences of life.
PS – I noticed there is no flame coming from your arctic white Strat! Is that a Blues Jr. behind it?
It’s a blues Junior. And yes–I am fully prepared to have my piece parsed to no end. Hopefully inoculating myself from the “uh” tendency.