Lessons from my Early Work :-)

I write to you this evening from a hotel room after a very long first day of the clinical trial at the medical center. Everything went smoothly and I am filled with silliness, which is perfect for this post I’ve been wanting to write for two weeks.

As we are approaching the 50th anniversary
of my having written this piece in the photo,
I simply must use it.

I come upon
some of my early writing
and see clearly I had no VOICE of my own as yet. 🙂

And as I had just finished reading
the “Rumors of Water” chapter about VOICE,
I’d become newly radicalized
on the subject of speaking in one’s own VOICE.

Exhibit A:
Look closely
and see how I was forced
to add “un” to “til,”
thus ruining a perfect left margin.
Margins were my passion!
Such heartbreak.

Exhibit B:
See how I have taken a tone,
ordering the addressees (my parents)
to please be prompt?
This won’t do at all.
One must give careful consideration to one’s readers
and not order them around.

BTW, adding the word ‘please’
does not make something polite.
(I will refrain from examples.)

Exhibit C:
By the time you arrive at the end
you suspect
all my classmates’ parents
got the exact same invitation
but with a different name at the bottom.
Never let your work be that interchangeable
that someone else could just as easily slap their name on it.
It ought to somehow be something
only you could write.

Ideally, that is.

And I am,
if nothing else,
an idealist…..but with a very practical bent.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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8 Responses to Lessons from my Early Work :-)

  1. I think I’m going to end up quoting you on this: “I am, if nothing else, an idealist…with a very practical bent.”

    Also, the margin thing would’ve crushed me too! 🙂


  2. Marilyn – This was a delight! What a practical example (or counter example!) of developing a voice of one’s one. You have a voice now, my friend, a voice that we all hear loud and clear! (Especially when you say “please”!)


  3. That margin thing would have sent me over the edge!

    I can just see your classmates sitting at their desks – number two pencils in hand – copying that letter, word for word from the board. I don’t know if that’s how it actually happened, but I am sure “Please be prompt.” was the teacher’s idea.


  4. This is brilliant! I especially love your obsessions with margins. 🙂


  5. llbarkat says:

    Marilyn, this is terrific. I’m so excited for how your writing is opening up before our eyes. 🙂


  6. Brenda Remis says:

    That note to your parents was priceless, cous. Love your posts and the picture of the Fall foliage at the top of your page.


  7. Belinda says:

    As a hoarder of slips of paper myself, I loved your note from the past! 🙂 And I loved the use you put it to in the present.


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