Thursday, June 05, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Reflective.
CALLIOPE: On what do you reflect?
JOE: Mostly my writing. I was sailing along in a cloud of hubris imagining myself the next John Updike or Ernest Hemingway.
CALLIOPE: What dissipated your cloud?
JOE: I read the contest winners' entries against which I recently competed. I thought my story was great when it wasn't, either upon reflection of my writing group or in comparison with the other entries.
CALLIOPE: What do you conclude from that?
JOE: One conclusion is that I am not the literary equal of Mozart. Finished work does not flow from my pen, at least not at this point in my writing career and probably never will. Creating a polished piece involves hard work and concentration, while at the same time remaining in a creative mode, a delicate balancing act at least for me.
CALLIOPE: Quite a realization. Does it make you reconsider your writing career?
JOE: No, but I have a new respect for the craft of writing and what it involves. I can easily create pedestrian work, but that is not my goal. I have considered my mission to help readers understand themselves and their impact on others. But I have come to realize that no one will read what I have to say if I don't make it interesting and engaging.
CALLIOPE: So it's not just a psychological challenge?
JOE: No. It's also a literary one as well. I don't know why I never realized this before. Sometimes it takes me a while to discover insights which seem obvious once I unearth them.
CALLIOPE: Well said. Now what?
JOE: I will continue writing but try to avoid distractions from my craft or at least use them as challenges and try to convert them into something creative. I'll start working on it today. Talk with you tomorrow.

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