Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In the beginning ...

Friday, January 10, 2003  

By God, it works! OK ... this, then, is a working writer's diary. One wonders if anyone actually will read this. Maybe it doesn't matter. At any rate, I invite conversation about "the writing life" with anyone who does stumble across this. I'll start with my writing background: MFA in Playwriting from the University of Oregon. Widely published short stories in literary magazines in the late 60s through mid 70s, when playwriting became my focus. Got interested in screenwriting after optioning film rights to a stage play of mine. Six screenplays optioned. Lately my focus is fiction, having tired of thirty years of collaborative writing forms. Shopping a novel, have started another, and for morale am writing a lot of very short stories. Have a literary archive at http://www.ibiblio.org/cdeemer. 

This is my first coherent blog entry, after testing the interface a few days before. "...a working writer's diary," was the idea. Why? Because as a young writer I loved reading the journals and letters of writers, to get a glimpse of their personal lives and especially of the relationship between their working lives and their personal lives. I thought "a living diary" by a working writer might be of interest to a few young writers who stumbled upon it. At the time I felt confident that it would be. I no longer am sure. I know the blog has been beneficial to me but I have no idea if it's been "beneficial" to anyone else. A few folks follow it, I know, though I wouldn't guess why. At any rate, this was the beginning.

I put my own process of writing under public scrutiny in the months and years that followed. I enjoyed doing it. My memoir, Dress Rehearsals, was drafted in the pages of my blog. The birth pains of all my recent work are noted here. I did what I set out to do.

But, as I said, I'm not sure the intended audience, young writers, ever showed up. Well, that's not quite right. Now and again a young writer would email me and thank me for the blog. Not many but a few. Enough to justify the premise, I suppose.

But now my life has changed and I'm really not writing enough to justify "a writer's diary." What I need instead is a blog about "a writer's retirement," and that's what I intend to start. Or maybe not. I haven't quite decided. But I do plan to stop writing here, ending this blog (in both its versions: a changed to a new one when the interface changed in 2006). I'll make a formal last entry soon, probably during my term break. By then I'll have decided whether or not I'll continue to blog. I likely will since it's become a habit. Maybe an addiction.

But the focus definitely has changed. I don't have "a writing life" any more, though I still dabble in it. Writing, however, has been my obsession until recently, and this is what has changed. The obsession is gone. I don't think an un-obsessed writer is "really" a writer.

So that's where I stand this morning.

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