Posted by: annemartinfletcher | March 28, 2010

Revisions and Self-Absorption

Yeah!!  I just finished what is probably the 50th revision of my three sample chapters (about 100 pages).  Better to revise now than after an agent has seen my work.  Of course, I like to revise by hand, which means I still need to print out the latest changes, read them through, and ensure that I didn’t create any new grammatical errors or content disconnects.

My family and I watched the movie “Julie and Julia” last night, about a woman whose blog essentially became a memoir about the year she spent trying to master French cooking.  Great movie for all up and coming authors.  One theme of the movie is that a woman who spends all her time writing about herself is a “bitch.”

Let’s see, I am writing all about–myself.  I spend hours researching events that happened to–me.  I am contacting friends to see if their memories of events correspond with my memories of events.  In the end, I write a version of events that I can remember.  Yes, I would agree that writing a memoir is an exercise in complete self-absorption.

I disagree that this makes me a b – – – – .  As a mother and a ski instructor, I still spend lots of time caring for other people.  But then, I am working without a deadline.  If I had a deadline, I would probably spend even more time in self-absorbing work.  Tell me, does being self-absorbed, even for a good cause, make a writer a B – – – -?

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Responses

  1. I’m not a ranting feminist at all (I am probably a b*tch–a self-absorbed one at that and frankly I’m OK with it). But I do have to wonder what epithet they’d give a man who writes about himself. Would they make it seem so negative? Or would they applaud his sensitivity in wanting to understand himself a little better? Regardless, personal exploration usually makes us better people–it makes us understand ourselves, the world and others at deeper levels. Isn’t that a good thing? How is it when one shares what she learned in “self-absorbed” writing, that she’s a b*itch? I just can’t seem to make the connection.

  2. Itslisa, I couldn’t agree with you more. You are also intelligent enough to read the implications intended in a blog post, beyond the explicit message. Thanks for commenting!

  3. We write best about what we know and what we know best usually flows from ourselves. In that sense we are all self-absorbed. Doesn’t make us bitches, though. Making life miserable – intentionally – for someone or something else…now THAT may qualify you for being a bitch.

    Keep writing and pay no heed to the naysayers. You entertain and enlighten, and in prose those are rare things indeed.


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