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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Even Twain didn't know.


Mark Twain put aside Huckleberry Finn for years and years. He had written 80+ pages and didn't think the novel had much going for it. He thought A Connecticut Yankee was his best work. (Thank you, John, for this tidbit!)

So, how can we? How can we judge what is worth writing and what isn't? What we keep and what we toss? A writer in our group is cleaning up her Opus. She brings stuff to our group, reads it outloud takes our suggestions. She trusts others to tell her what is good. Her own compass has been slipping and flopping and bending too much one way or another.

Somebody or something must have gotten Samuel C. to finish his masterpiece, a story of a runaway boy and a runaway slave on a journey to the darkest depth of a nation, reaching for wholeness, self-worth. Samuel C. must have listened to his deeper voice, his sense of what was most troubling to him and to his fellow men at that time.

Huckleberry Finn was not instantly popular with readers. Even today, in some remote town with border sensibilities and tenacious bigotry, the book is a hot rod, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Even today, the book speaks to our deeper selves.

Everyday, we make choices of what to read, what to buy, what to write. We choose what to write in a blog, and what to say to a fellow blogger. We decide what is good, what is worthwhile, what is deep and sensitive, what is the voice of a people, the timbre of a generation. We choose, we subscribe, we encourage.

It is hard to know. It is hard to judge. But artists need our support and encouragement because without those things artists will continue to show us only the things they know we will like right away. They will never show us their deepest pain, their murkiest shame, their cloudiest dreams.

15 comments:

janis said...

Well said.
For me, I know my blog is quite boring and even uninteresting to some. I am okay with that. Those people don't have to read it. It is there choice. However, writing my blog helps me validate my feelings. I mostly chose to write about what is happening in our lives. But on occassion, I get brave & write about my true feelings. The comments help me to feel better as well as just putting it out there. I also chose to read differnet types of blogs, from very talented and thoughtful writers & photographers to just another Mom trying to get through the day.
My choice.
Personally about "real writings and books", I love to read a variety of stuff from fun reads to deep reads.
What a blessing we live where we have a choice.

lakeviewer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lakeviewer said...

Janis,
Writing is mostly personal ruminations, meant to discover our inner-most feelings. If it helps others do the same, it's wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Fabulous post. That is why... you have been given the Superior Scribbler Award. Please go to my website for information on how to post it to your website.

I struggle with my writing and hope I make sense to those who read my blog. As I have mentioned before this is a wonderful way to meet and get to know people from all parts of our country and the world. Isn't is just fantastic?

Thanks for your great blog!!! I love it.

Natalie said...

Mutual love society going on here. I love and follow all three of you!

Lakeviewer ~ Rosaria?

That was indeed a wonderful post.Thank you.
I know a girl whose blog got murky recently! ;-)

lakeviewer said...

Cheryl,
I am honored and grateful for the honor. Now, I'll have to learn how to copy and paste and all that technical stuff I still fumble with.

lakeviewer said...

Natalie,
Thanks for the compliment and constant support.

Yes, we are becoming a good support group out there. And Natalie, you may use either of my names.

Rosaria/Lakeviewer

Angela said...

Rosaria, Huck Finn was one of my first books. Some you never forget. But writing and deciding what to reveal of your own inner depths is a difficult thing. Before writing a whole book I thing blogging can help you find out about reactions. And I just LOVE these personal relationships that arise! Tell me when you found out about how to paste the award!

Renee said...

Yes Sensei: Oh wise teacher. I love your comment on my post today. Your brilliant.

Love Renee

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Regarding your award... it took me a good bit of time to figure out how to put up my award. If you want to try here is what I did: 1. go to the LINK. 2. copy the image to your desktop. 3. use the image icon on your post page to upload for a regular post 4. on your Layout page to to "Add A Gadget" and choose the Picture gadget. From there you can add the URL for Superior Scribbler, a Title, a Caption and upload it to your site for keeps.
Like I said it took me FOREVER to figure out how folks have been doing this. Good luck with the process.

Mary said...

I read your post and then pondered some. I returned and pondered some more (which should explain the tardiness in my late comment).

Being honest in your writings requires a great amount of courage and discipline and freedom and discernment and then a little more courage.

I have been told that I can write what ever I like on my blog as it is,'my space'. Sounds fair enough - until you realize that there is a definite inconsistency in blogland as far as the demonstration of basic manners by some. I mean, its one thing writing for yourself - but then why post. Why not just have a private journal? So, I believe that most bloggers do actually want their writings to reach other people. Maybe to inspire, or to relieve some boredom, or to gain some inspiration, or to receive confirmation, acknowledgment, encouragement - whatever!

By the way these are just a few random thoughts on a very interesting topic.

I have noticed that some bloggers can write every day on trivial blah, blah, blah moments and 'heh Presto!' dozens of comments - often not saying very much at all.

Others can write something really inspirational or thought-provoking, or hilarious, or real and honest and get 1 comment.

I wonder if Mark Twain hesitated in completing his work because he feared rejection? I wonder if Mark Twain was only being true to his own ideals or truths and needed to wait for the right time to write what he wrote? I wonder if Mark Twain never in his wildest dreams thought that so many people would be influenced by his book - long after the published date?

Better stop now - in case I write something that will get me into trouble.

By the way - I like what you write about and value your visits.

This topic kind of needed a coffee date. Do I take it your name is Rosaria?

Renee said...

I see you have a favourite that I do. Margaret Atwood.

A Handmaids Tale is one of my favourite books and I have read it many times. Last year at a bookclub meeting, I was like it is so scary because it could so happen, especially with the religious right. This young girl in early 20s says, no way, the most powerful person in the world is a woman (I'm thinking she is going to say Oprah). So, I bite and say who is that and she says the Queen of England. I really was surprised at the stupidity.

xoxo

Renee

Judith said...

I love learning more about writers I feel so connected to. A big thank you for sharing this.

Bella Sinclair said...

What a thoughtful and thought-provoking blog you have. I admire you for working to better your community and to inspire others toward social action, as well as creativity. I enjoyed reading some of your posts and shall return for more.

Thank you, also, for your recent visit and sweet comment. :)

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