When my youngest dog hits her exhaustion threshold, she does this thing where she winds up her body and runs around in crazy circles, hackles raised, barking and growling at the older dog. She runs this rant until either I or the older dog snap her out of it making her back off and stand still for some minutes. Until she gives in. Until she surrenders. It’s like she just has to get that last “something” out and the next thing you know she’s sprawled in a corner, out cold, at peace.
A woman recently asked a group of writers, “Who are you writing for, who’s your ideal reader?” In theory, you’re supposed to have a target audience in mind — one person, or a group of persons (people??) — and so I thought about this question for the longest time but couldn’t come up with an answer. Right now I’m writing like no one is going to read a single word. That isn’t to say that I’m writing a bunch of secrets or mind-blowing scenes; just that sometimes going quiet on the outside is the one way I can let loose on the inside. On the inside I don’t have to be polite or good or agreeable; I can write loud.
The other night I was at the dinner table with a group of folks and stuck my nose, or rather my voice, into a debate about (hold your applause) corporate tax law. Most of the table went quiet (who wouldn’t?) as a few (okay, two) of us ranted and I heard myself getting louder and louder, and at some point I saw myself as my young dog, running around in circles and barking and growling until, finally, thankfully!, somebody got up to leave and snapped me out of it.
The next day, when I told a friend how we’d spent the end of the evening, her response was, simply, “Yawn.” I laughed. She was right. And I felt sorry for the other people at the table who had to sit there and tolerate our loud circular debate to nowhere. Yawn was right.
I’m writing everyday, for what or whom, I don’t know right now, but it’s obvious that something in me is wound tight and making me barrel like crazy, ’round and ’round in circles. One last loud and exhausting charge, before inevitable surrender?
I wasn’t, I realize now, even arguing about corporate tax law at the dinner table the other night. Not really. It was just late and I was tired and I’d had too much wine and too much food and I was, like my young dog, exhausted by being good and agreeable and quiet, and I was making that last explosion around the room, running in circles, just trying to feel heard.
I’m a circle runner too!
Makes sense for me, but maybe not so much for the accidental audience. *le sigh*
As long as you didn’t say you were chasing your tails, all’s good. I loved this , ” On the inside I don’t have to be polite or good or agreeable; I can write loud.”
Here’s to writing loud for all of us!
Make that “tail.” And I haven’t even had any wine.
I’m kinda loving the idea of multiple tails, so I’m keeping it as is. (I’ll have wine with you later this evening, virtually 😉
I hear you. —Someone else who feels like she talked too much yesterday and didn’t have any excuse because she was at work and not drinking wine, unless of course the lack of wine was the problem?
PS LOVE the photo.
Remind you of, say, Minnesota in January?
And P.S. Be thankful you didn’t have the wine. Probably saved your dignity.
With snowflakes that big? Looks like March.
And I’m not sure it did. I was uncertain of my role,and just kept talking .
We took this one in late December, and I only know that because both kids were home for xmas. It was a wild snow day!!
Neat! I’m just being difficult. 🙂
I get like this also. Great write!
I so thoroughly enjoyed this! I actually chuckled that you got into it over “corporate taxes”. Hahahaha oh so humorous, isn’t? The things we do and say! Tail chasing, indeed! ☺☺☺☺☺
Corporate taxes. Oy. And as my friend said, ‘Yawn.’
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I don’t think I give much thought to my ideal reader. I suppose it’s merely the person who would enjoy what I have written. I really write for myself, the kind of stuff I would like to read. I am always dubious of any kind of absolute, pervasive writing advice/instruction. I guess I’m a lone wolf.
I agree with you, Paul. Writing advice falls into the category of “All Advice” which is never one-size-fits-all.
We all get our work done, however we get it done, and I’d guess not one of us is alike in how that happens.
Reblogged this on Paul Karam Kassab.
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who doesn’t go stark raving mad over corporate taxes???!!!
this place, where you are in your writing, is phenomenal. i can feel it – in this post and the others before. i love it.