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WritingSummary: 4/18/2023

Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael:
Seated Youth Writing in Book (17th/18th century)

Thrive On The Unresolvable
This week brought me back into my regular writing schedule after missing parts of three writing weeks. I had worried that I'd broken the trance that usually carries me into and through my writing work. I can be superstitious about my habits, mistaking them for necessary imperatives when they're more likely no more than random patterns. I learned—or I am still learning—that I need not necessarily fear upsetting my patterns. I am no longer the sum total of the habits I keep, for I have been actively breaking bad habits in favor of better ones, so far, without evident damage. In my relative youth, I might have been addicted to my life, convinced of the necessity of so many of my choices. One of the great gifts aging brings seems to be a loosening of those encumbering imperatives. I increasingly see that I am unnecessary, though I might still qualify as nice-to-have. I am no longer necessary if I ever was; my stories are not what they seem. It might be that our purpose here was never to resolve any great mysteries but to discover more of them. This world seems to thrive on the unresolvable.

Weekly Writing Summary:

I began my writing week wondering if my manuscripts will prove different enough to be considered Outlying. "The rest of us write our stories without attempting overt manipulation or deliberate emulation, either. I notice that my books look different than most others. I cannot tell if that difference might make them seem interesting or Outlying. This distinction might not matter."
outlying Sebald Beham: The Guard Near the Powder Casks (Not Dated, c. 1520-1550)
" … my books look different than most others."

I continued my writing week disclosing how I never found much use for *Confidence in my writing practice. This story proved the most popular this period. "The Confident author might not be worth reading other than as an example of what one should avoid reading."

confidence Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Portrait of Dublin-Tornelle (c. 1799)
"How could any of us ever experience the considerable benefits of our doubts if we've smothered them with our Confidence first?"

I introduced myself as nobody's booster and at best Skeptical about my ability to promote my writing. "I ache instead for the sort of notoriety that might render me nameless, a much-revered nobody special who once upon a time left a few utterly ordinary stories behind for others to find for themselves."

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins:
Miss Alice Kurtz (1903)
" … who once upon a time left a few utterly ordinary stories behind …"

I proposed that my more tedious Publishing work might be better approached by Distracting rather than disciplining myself. "What of all the tough stuff we routinely expect ourselves to engage in does not involve at least a little Distracting? Huh?"

Allart van Everdingen:
Reynard disguises as monk and distracts cock
(17th century)
" … few intentions seem very far beyond us."

I realized from within a flurry of copying and pasting (AKA: Publishing), that my practice has become at root Repurposeful. "Any naive notion that writing might constitute a creative profession has slowly and quietly gone the way of the Dodo Bird for me. Even my first iterations tend to come from earlier recollections."

Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎: Recycling Paper (1821)
"I repurpose and therefore am."

I attempted to describe what happens when a manuscript finally comes together in Symmetry. "Not until after proving myself a complete idiot does any sense of my own genius ever emerge." PureSchmaltz - Integration: Symmetry- 11/04/2009

Félix Boisselier: The Mouth of Truth (1809-1810)
"When beauty appears, remaining questions disappear."

I finished my writing week introducing my Piles, what passes for my futuristic filing system. "I chastise myself every morning for not knowing beforehand where all this writing would go. Had I paid closer attention during some formative semester somewhere, I might have learned how to properly organize my work and my life. Instead, I spend my life engaged in an apparently eternal game of catch-up pick-up sticks, reorganizing a chaos that seemingly just manifested before me."

Battista Franco: Rib Cages (early 1540s)
"Delusions like this one keep me moving forward."

My first full writing week in three left me feeling as though I might have fallen behind, though behind what, I couldn't define other than to sense that I might have fallen behind my expectations. Covid swiped the best part of two writing weeks from me and left me feeling fuzzy. I'm still not a hundred percent, as if I ever was. Given that recognition, I suffered from the usual concerns this week. Finally fully engaged in creating a manuscript, by which I mean teetering on the edge of a serious copy/paste coma, I wondered if I was creating an Outlier which readers might struggle to appreciate. This amounts to a standard version of writer's paranoia, hardly worth mentioning twice. I questioned Confidence and admitted to feeling Skeptical about my ability to fully live up to a writer's expectations. I found some solace in realizing that I could sometimes make headway by Distracting myself through the more onerous tasks, recognizing that much of my work hardly qualifies as creative. I admitted that I Repurpose my stuff to satisfy several different purposes then stumbled upon a truly sublime sense that I was accomplishing something like Symmetry. I ended the week with the same old Piles which have been my constant companion since before I started writing this series. I'm unlikely to lose them this time, either, though I might be taming them. Thank you for following along!

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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