Trying to decide if I want to go to the Word on the Street Festival… Cyn will be there for a little while, which is pretty much the only reason I want to go… but she’s not going to be there for very long, because she’s doing a reading on the radio at CIUT – the University Radio station. I know that there are going to be some people there from Marigold as well, but I never feel comfortable around marigold people… they all seem so outgoing and cheerful and supportive and so much like a club that I’m not a part of… not to say that I didn’t try to be part of it, I think it’s amazing what they seem to share, but every time I’ve tried to spend time with them, all I’ve ever wanted to do is hide and not say a word, because everything I say is wrong.

How did I lose so much, so quickly? I used to do poetry readings, I used to love it… I came toToronto and just stopped. And then in the winter of this past year, I went out again, and I read again, and I felt so outside of the whole scene, so completely uncomfortable with the people there, that I hated it. And then I stopped being able to write poetry. It’s just not there anymore. And now I can’t even write articles or stories or descriptions of anything… all I can do is ramble in this fucking journal about pointless nothings.

I’m not quite me anymore. I feel like I’m just taking up space, and every single time I try to change something I just make it worse, or frustrate myself, or lose my track and get lost even worse. And I can’t even write anymore. Writing kept me alive, it helped me to feel good about myself, and I loved to do it… and now every time I even try to write an introduction to an interview, it takes me 4 hours to come up with two sentences and they’re not worth the paper they’re on.

Hi, I’m JennyLee, and I used to be a writer. Now I’m nothing at all.


  • talashandy

    September 24, 2000 at 8:17 am

    ((((hugs)))) I know EXACTLY what you are feeling. You just described me to a t. *sigh* Lets be discontent together. =|

  • strange

    September 24, 2000 at 8:18 am

    Word on the Street

    I went last year and it was horrible, so corporate yet crowded I thought I would throw up. It was totally not hip, so if you decide not to go, you’re probably not missing anything unless they have decided to revamp the whole concept from last year.

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      September 24, 2000 at 8:24 am

      Re: Word on the Street

      I went last year with you, monica 😉 Jay & I both agreed with you that it was horrible… the only reason I’m thinking of going this year is to get together with cyn, because I’m feeling like I really need outside social contact right now.

      anyhow… Hi! 🙂

  • cyn

    September 24, 2000 at 8:30 am

    you are LOTS of things!

    the writing thing comes and goes like the tides, with your energy flows. you’re a Libra, and especially prone to picking up these vibes.

    just let it flow. everything good is hard. if it weren’t hard, every single person would be doing it. i am totally freaked out every single time i share my writing with others. i don’t think that i write enough.

    maybe we should have a writing night? perhaps you and i and monica could get together on cam and give each other writing exercises or something? that would be fun – like, write like hell for 15 minutes without stopping, subject is FOOD… and we could post some of the results in mental fragments!

    -just thinking out loud again…. see you in half an hour! 🙂

  • magicwoman

    September 24, 2000 at 9:21 am

    A Phase . . .

    Life is funny how it ebbs and flows. I had my last really creative period about 5 years ago (I am not saying that to make you feel bad either). Now in the last year and a half I have felt a resurgance of creative juices. You definitely can’t push it – you can dabble along – but you can’t push it. One thing I do know is you can’t permanently lose it or shut it down (repress, yes). I hope the fall is a time of resurgance for you.

  • dixie

    September 24, 2000 at 10:12 am


    I hope this helps a little. It’s advice from Marge Piercy in the form of a poem:

    For the young who want to

    Talent is what they say
    you have after the novel
    is published and favorably
    reviewed. Beforehand what
    you have is a tedious
    delusion, a hobby like knitting.

    Work is what you have done
    after the play is produced
    and the audience claps.
    Before that friends keep asking
    when you are planning to go
    out and get a job.

    Genius is what they know you
    had after the third volume
    of remarkable poems. Earlier
    they accuse you of withdrawing,
    ask why you don’t have a baby,
    call you a bum.

    The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
    take workshops with fancy names
    when all you can really
    learn is a few techniques,
    typing instructions and some-
    body else’s mannerisms

    is that every artist lacks
    a license to hang on the wall
    like your optician, your vet
    proving you may be a clumsy sadist
    whose fillings fall into the stew
    but you’re certified a dentist.

    The real writer is one
    who really writes. Talent
    is an invention like phlogiston
    after the fact of fire.
    Work is its own cure. You have to
    like it better than being loved.

    Copyright 1980, Middlemarsh, Inc.
    Alfred A. Knopf, New York

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2000 at 4:26 pm

    losing it….

    oh, j.l., I do be thinking you can never lose your writing skills. it’s kinda like riding a bike – if it’s been awhile, yeah, you’re wobbly at first. but once you settle in to the pattern, the thrum of it, you’re flying again. don’t be too hard on yourself. if being a poet is what you do for fun, why then, do it for fun! there’s no pressure that way. be one with the pen and paper 😉