The relationship of an editor and a writer

How can I ever trust someone to edit my work?

I mean I know I should, and that there are probably hundreds of mistakes within my writing, but for some reason it takes a lot of strength for me to trust that what someone suggests is the right thing to do. I read today somewhere that “editors are just writers that never make it.” And it discouraged me, because I love to edit. This is hypocritical, I know, because I love to edit other people’s papers, but never to have anyone else edit mine. I think that editors have to be successful writers however, because if they are going to try and fix someone else’s writing they have to know what they are doing!

Editing other people’s papers is enjoyable for me, but also difficult, because I want to make sure that I don’t remove their voice from their writing. When my voice is removed from my writing then I feel like it isn’t even mine anymore!

Editors and writers must have a honest and beneficial relationship. The writer must do his best and accept his editors suggestions, and the editor must try their best to edit with the pieces best interest in mind.

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“Skinhead” by Patricia Smith

No words to describe the emotion I felt after watching Patricia Smith read her poem “Skinhead”. Let me attach the poem so you can read it, which honestly, was nothing compared to the emotion I felt when I heard her voice speak it.

They call me skinhead, and I got my own beauty.
It is knife-scrawled across my back in sore, jagged letters,
it’s in the way my eyes snap away from the obvious.
I sit in my dim matchbox,
on the edge of a bed tousled with my ragged smell,
slide razors across my hair,
count how many ways
I can bring blood closer to the surface of my skin.
These are the duties of the righteous,
the ways of the anointed.

The face that moves in my mirror is huge and pockmarked,
scraped pink and brilliant, apple-cheeked,
I am filled with my own spit.
Two years ago, a machine that slices leather
sucked in my hand and held it,
whacking off three fingers at the root.
I didn’t feel nothing till I looked down
and saw one of them on the floor
next to my boot heel,
and I ain’t worked since then.

I sit here and watch niggers take over my TV set,
walking like kings up and down the sidewalks in my head,
walking like their fat black mamas named them freedom.
My shoulders tell me that ain’t right.
So I move out into the sun
where my beauty makes them lower their heads,
or into the night
with a lead pipe up my sleeve,
a razor tucked in my boot.
I was born to make things right.

It’s easy now to move my big body into shadows,
to move from a place where there was nothing
into the stark circle of a streetlight,
the pipe raised up high over my head.
It’s a kick to watch their eyes get big,
round and gleaming like cartoon jungle boys,
right in that second when they know
the pipe’s gonna come down, and I got this thing
I like to say, listen to this, I like to say
“Hey, nigger, Abe Lincoln’s been dead a long time.”

I get hard listening to their skin burst.
I was born to make things right.

Then this newspaper guy comes around,
seems I was a little sloppy kicking some fag’s ass
and he opened his hole and screamed about it.
This reporter finds me curled up in my bed,
those TV flashes licking my face clean.
Same ol’ shit.
Ain’t got no job, the coloreds and spics got ’em all.
Why ain’t I working? Look at my hand, asshole.
No, I ain’t part of no organized group,
I’m just a white boy who loves his race,
fighting for a pure country.
Sometimes it’s just me. Sometimes three. Sometimes 30.
AIDS will take care of the faggots,
then it’s gon’ be white on black in the streets.
Then there’ll be three million.
I tell him that.

So he writes it up
and I come off looking like some kind of freak,
like I’m Hitler himself. I ain’t that lucky,
but I got my own beauty.
It is in my steel-toed boots,
in the hard corners of my shaved head.

I look in the mirror and hold up my mangled hand,
only the baby finger left, sticking straight up,
I know it’s the wrong goddamned finger,
but fuck you all anyway.
I’m riding the top rung of the perfect race,
my face scraped pink and brilliant.
I’m your baby, America, your boy,
drunk on my own spit, I am goddamned fuckin’ beautiful.

And I was born

and raised

right here.

The way she wrote this amazed me. I have been looking at writing in terms of poetry more often than usual lately, and I have found some really cool pieces. This poem is amazing. The tension she uses to push her ideas in each line adds to the overall message. The perspective of a racist white man leads me to become more angry while I watch her read it. I think this reminds me how powerful word can be. The words that she wrote reached people all over for one main reason. They are actually said. And thinking about this disgusts me. It makes me think about racist people and how ignorant they are. I think Patricia Smith’s poem shows the power of poetry.

Here is the video:

Cutting and pasting

A few days ago I was going through my google docs account and came across something disgusting. A love letter I wrote to my boyfriend when I was 15. As I read over this cringe worthy letter I laughed out loud. I don’t remember feeling this way towards anyone. To make this more understandable here is a couple of quotes:

Jase, I promise you I will love you forever. Even if we end up taking different paths, I make the promise to never stop loving you.

I love every little thing about you. I have never found someone so lovable. I could go on for days about everything you do that makes my heart smile.

 

I took this letter and did something that was oddly satisfying. I printed it out and cut it up. I separated each sentence into words and piled them on the table in front of me. My plan was to take this letter and turn it into something totally different. My end result was actually pretty cool.

jasonpoem1.jpg

 

“We accept the love we think we deserve”

Do we?

I love this quote, and the moment I read it I started thinking. Do we actually accept love as we believe we deserve it?

This quote made me think of abusive relationships, and whether or not the victim within one believes they deserve the type of love they are given. I know several people (both men and women) who have been treated wrongfully within a relationship, and never came to realize that it was their choice whether or not they left or continued to accept the love they were receiving. I believe that as soon as a person realizes that they deserve to be treated in a positive way, they will begin to realize that anything below what they deserve is not “love”. It’s more complicated than just realizing this however, and it takes strength and courage to stop accepting any form of love that is less than what we deserve.

So…what type of love do I think I deserve?

What type of love will I accept?

Love that does not try to control me. Love that does not try to change me. I deserve love that is genuine, honest, and reliable. I deserve love that is mutual. I deserve love that is based off of more than the physical things.

I deserve the same love that I give. 

“Everything happens for a reason”

For today’s commonplace post, I decided to examine one of the most OVERUSED cliches, “everything happens for a reason.”

Anytime that someone says this to me, I want to question their logic. I mean yes, I guess everything does happen for a reason, because everything has a cause. For example, say I lose a close friend in a car crash. Yes, it happened because two cars hit each other going at a high speed. That is the reason. I do not think that the universe would have chosen to have this bad thing happen to someone though.

Maybe my opinion on this statement comes from the fact that I am not religious. If I did believe in God, I guess I would in turn believe that he was responsible for what happens around the world. But this makes me question then, how do people defend the acts of god or the “reason” for mass shootings, rapes, murder, war, poverty, or cancer? Is there a reason for these things? Is it karma? If I get my purse stolen, what exactly is the reason? I know that some people believe that everything happens so that it will lead to something good, but I can not convince myself of this.

I do not think that everything happens for a reason. I believe that some things are a tragedy and should have never happened. Let’s all stop using this cliche please. I may be overthinking, but I can not help but become frustrated and the logic of the statement.

Another daily word prompt: Confess

Last week I used a prompt using the word constant. I had a ton of fun being inspired to write by a single word, and I decided to do the same thing again this week for my post!

Today’s word is confess. Here are some random thoughts that go along with this word:

I confess that often times I do not know what to think or say. I confess that I get nervous in a lot of situations, but I pretend like I know what I am doing. I confess I am very self conscious and I confess I know I should not be. I confess that sometimes I think negative things about myself and the people around me, and I confess that I do not mean these things. I confess that I miss my Dad, and Mom, and brothers. I confess that I never want to grow up, never want to graduate, never want to be on my own. I confess that I know I should confess more. I think that the word confess in itself is interesting. It is owning up to a lie, or a false statement, or something you are not proud of. The word makes me think of religions and their perception of confessing. I am not a religious person, but I confess I am curious as to what goes on inside the mind of someone who is. I confess I should confess more, it kind of felt good. 🙂

The Daily Post’s One Word Prompts

I was scrolling down my feed and stopped to see a page posted by The Daily Post titled a “one word prompt”, used to inspire bloggers to post and respond with whatever thoughts the word provoked. Today’s word was:

constant

When I think of the word constant, I think of dedication. I think of my desire to be the best I can be each day. It reminds me that even if things go bad, I should be consistent with my push forward. I am constantly overthinking as well, and this made me think about what strategies I can use when I overthink things beyond my control. I will constantly remind myself that there is no point in wishing uncontrollable things away. I should focus on the future, and what I can do to ensure my life is constantly productive.

These prompts are fun and I am looking forward to responding to another one.