It is an honor and privilege to have Erin Feldman back in the house for second time. She previously guest posted The Blessing of Rejection way back on September 22, 2011 and had over 100 comments. It was a lively couple of days indeed.
Recently, I jokingly told her I was giving her my blog and was going to throw her the keys; it was the inspiration for this post.
Here’s my friend Erin’s story; enjoy.
May I Have the Keys?
“May I have the keys?” may be one of the most dreaded questions parents face. Personally, I never asked my parents for the keys. My dad’s Bronco was a death trap, and what sixteen-year-old wants to drive around in the family van? No, thank you. I may not have been the popular kid, but I didn’t need to defame myself further by showing up to events in the big, brown van. I had some sense of self-preservation.
“Will you need the keys?” is equally problematic. It isn’t that I can’t drive other people’s cars; I drive a standard, which means I can transverse the world of automatics and standards. (Try not to ask me to do so. I have a strange, rebellious sort of pride when it comes to being able to drive a standard. It’s akin to being a Mac girl or boy. I may use a PC when I must, but I’m going to lob scathing remarks at the computer the entire time.)
I think question causes some anxiety because I’ve been asked to be responsible for someone else’s possession. What if I crash into something? What if someone or something (A deer? At the infamous deer crossing?) runs into the car? What if I’m not supposed to be driving the vehicle because the owner doesn’t have the right kind of insurance? What if I leave my insurance card at home, and I’m pulled over because the owner’s car has a broken taillight?
How many of those things actually will happen? Not many, if any. Breathe. Calm down.
Still, the question is a little worrisome, especially when the keys go to something other than a car. A blog? Bill’s blog? He wants me to take it for a spin? Well, well. Let’s see what I can do. Maybe I can write in a different style than usual. Maybe not. I’m told I have a unique voice, which I suppose is a desirable thing. It makes it a little hard to hide, though.
Olly, olly, oxen free…
Sometimes, it’s nice to hide. It’s good to break away from one’s usual style. It’s easier to do in a creative work, such as a short story or poem. A business blog? A different matter entirely. The voice has to be recognizable. It may evolve over time, but it needs to have a constant thread, something that makes it, it. I guess I have it, but I push against it at times.
Sometimes, “it” irritates me.
Sometimes, I become so irritated with “it” that I write something “wild.” It’s a concept one of my poetry professors used in a workshop. We had to write a poem that was as unlike our usual style as possible. I had had enough with the “Erin poem” comments, so I went wild. My usual style is short: short lines and short poems. When I went wild, I wrote a long poem. I wrote long lines. I wrote a satirical epic about my high school – complete with dumbstruck knights and nasty queens.
I haven’t been able to repeat the style. I don’t think I would like to repeat it.
Once was enough. The energy required to write as someone other than myself may be fun and may cause me to grow as a writer, but continually writing in response to comments about voice and style is a good way to wither quickly. No one can keep that sort of pace. A writer needs rhythm. A writer needs to do the work, but it’s hard to do it if the writer constantly changes the requirements. Some structure is needed. Sometimes, though, sometimes it’s nice to borrow the keys and to take a spin in someone else’s car or blog.
That. Is. All.
About Erin: In brief: I am a writer, poet, artist, and writing coach. I am the person behind Write Right, a business dedicated to helping you tell your story. I help you tell that story through an emphasis on writing right (I believe you have to know the rules before you can break them.) and creativity. Stories can be told in a variety of ways. Words are one way. Images are another.