Aug 30, 2007

Abstaining. never a good idea.

a friend suggested i stop posting my work publically on my blogs. i asked her if my work was that horrible. and she laughed saying it wasn't that. i needed to be wary of idea thieves, content robbers, and straight up jackers. don't you want to publish again, she asked.

the thought of not sharing my work publically makes me sad. i began this blog two years ago. this space has allowed me to create and grow as a writer. it's allowed me to create for the sake of sharing. and that in itself has pushed me to write. yes, i might have written a lot of bad poetry. and some good stuff too. but the point is that i wrote.

i've recently begun to take my writing seriously in a whole new way. i've entered a new phase of my creative life. this means that i've become hyper critical about my work. i can see the the flaws clearer. i can see the potential in my work and know when it's not quite there. the editing process frustrates me to the point of hating the pieces i originally loved. i've become apprehensive about sharing my words with others. so for me, the issue of abstaining from public postings is not at all about my work being stolen, but rather, my work sucking. and others bearing witness to the suckage.

i realize with art, one's work will always be in a perpetual state of progress. and nothing is perfect. but i'm wondering if perhaps there is such a thing as near-perfect. and if so, should one abstain from sharing anything publically until she attains that near-perfection? but to me, that takes the joy out of writing. i like sharing my work with people. even if it my work still dwells in edit-land. sharing our work is an important part of being, and growing as artists.

sigh. i guess this is my damn dilemma to figure out. but please feel free to jump in at any point.

4 Comments:

Anonymous vishakha said...

i'm afraid of talking about my thesis topic with too many academics b/c i'm afraid someone will bite my idea. particularly researchers whose interests are closely linked to mine. i think that fear is a very real one today. there are ways to share your work, maybe privately with friends, or with a writing group, that might be more of a safer space than the net. and about sucking (which you so obviously do NOT), i think that is a very real issue when the stakes are higher for whatever reason. i know women at the top of their game who have the same fear on the daily, and i think in some ways, as supportive as our parents may have been, we aren't given the confidence to say "i fuckin rock" the way that men are. i guess that just takes time, or something. i don't know, i'm still plagued with "impostor's syndrome" on occasion...

3:22 PM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

vishakha,
i'm going to post a note on the wall by my desk that says: I FUCKIN ROCK!!! (in bold, capital letters and 3 exclamation points) :)
thanks for the comment. couldn't agree with you more.

3:55 PM  
Blogger kameelah said...

hey, i visit your blog often and really enjoy it--it makes me smile because everything what you say is brief but poignant. i think the fear of stolen ideas is a legitimate one and one with which i struggle daily as a masters student, as an artist, ...as a human being. i think i have a hyper-sensitivity about idea theft because

a lot of this fear was recently legitimized when someone just straight up took my idea, ran with it and just rocked it as if it was there own. i was annoyed, but took it as a learning opportunity. growing up in a muslim household i was raised that no ideas our ours alone and we must give credit to our creator and i find beauty in that--the reality (well, at least my reality) that our ideas have a deep spiritual nature and speak to our relationship with our creator. i was listening to a speaker who was discussing aztec circle dancing and he was describing the personal signatures of each dancer. he said the creator cannot recognize or speak to us if we are imitating or not speaking-dancing in our voices. i often apply this to idea theft--you cannot ventriloquize someone else's originality and ideas no matter how hard the attempt is made. our creativity is nurtured by our experiences, explorations and adventures and as such our ideas can never be fully articulated and manifested as beautifully as they originated through an alien or secondary soul. we can share our ideas, but no one can actually embody and make their own ideas which were birth from unique experiences and spiritual relationships. while the idea was taken, the source and the organic inspiration from which it was created cannot be taken away. while i am not a big fan of kanye west, i remember this one line from one of his many songs that goes something like "i've forgotten better sh** then you ever thought of." for each idea that is taken, the source is there to develop new ones. i often think our ideas, our art, our creativity has certain defenses against bullsh**. we all know when we go to a spoken word event and the poet is delivery a poem that we know is not their own because it is detached, distant and feels rehearsed--almost inorganic. i think the best of us can sense that, so there is comfort in knowing that whatever idea you treasured that is now floating with the name of another attached, there are those of us that know. when it comes to idea theft, there is also the issue of the motivations behind our work--work because we love and are passionate, or work because we want recognition. this is a hard one because while our work may have come from a space of passion, we still want to be recognized.

near perfection--this is something i always struggle with and have found blogging to be the perfect space for vulnerability. i want you to keep posting work because it is an inspiration. in fact, i find "works in progress" more intriguing that prematurely celebratory "finished works." we are always in a state of becoming--gerunds and perpetual larva, always and such a recognition i feel makes it easier to make our work public. though i do wish there were better ground rules about creative work-- ie b/c i find my work to be moth spiritual and personal, please take off your shoes before you enter my creative space--meaning respect me and my subjectivity and respect that some articulations are close to our hearts. at the same time, we need to let our ideas go for a walk without parental supervision--without our protective gaze and sheltering...just to see how they fair.

hope that all makes sense

peas.
kameelah

10:15 PM  
Blogger Ktrion said...

I love reading this! Do keep posting: you're right, abstention is not the answer in this case.

I don't know what to say about the idea-stealing. In grad school I was a lot more worried about that than I am anymore.

But I do know people who have had stuff stolen!

But I also think that when I stop sharing my work, then I get in this messy place in my head where I think it's not worth sharing.

I'm reading Julia Cameron right now and saying to myself "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

Ultimately, I think it's better to share imperfect poems on their way to becoming, than to hide them away until they're good enough.

But let's see if I put my money where my mouth is and start putting more stuff out there.

7:53 AM  

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