Monday, February 25, 2013

Neruda :: Editor's Picks

As an editor and writer, I read a lot. Sometimes it’s at ten at night sloughing - or what feels like sloughing - through the inbox, or at ten in the morning riding the eight bus trying to focus on the words instead of the smell of yeast, pee, and crushed dreams. Sometimes I love what I read and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes what I read makes me want to stop writing, sometimes it makes me want to write even more. One thing I can say is that the editor part of me can see when the writer part of me should read more. And the editor part of me can also see when the writer should read more.

As writers, or artists even, we are used to criticism. But sometimes, we try to ignore it so as to further avoid any depression we may be staving off, to avoid any discouragement. Or, sometimes we think we are just SO AWESOME criticism doesn't matter.

One thing that I have noticed as an editor is that the more good literature one reads, the better it influences one’s writing. Congratulations if you aspire to write like Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling, we all can’t be the Joyce’s of the world. But those who do and can ascend to a higher level (or merit) of literature, should always be interested in the techniques, styles, voice, etc. that will help to better their own writing.

It's never a bad idea to have that one piece, a poem, a story, something to fall back on when you need an extra push toward not feeling like a total lump of shit. I read “Joachim’s Absence” by Pablo Neruda. Here's the first stanza:

From now, like a departure noticed from afar,
in funeral stations of smoke or solitary sea walls,
from now i see him plunging to his death,
and behind him I feel the days of time close in.

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