I come from a long line of whores.
Hooked yet? Nope? Oh well, I'll just continue anyway, and amuse myself. This blog came about because of a recent literary conference I attended. It was filled with strong, supportive women and a very special dude who formed a mini-community within the space of 48 hours. Each writer/poet/publisher in this community has publication/success in their respective genres--except me. I don't ask for sympathy at all here--I can't be successful if I haven't even tried for publication.
Yet, they all accepted me and treated me as a peer. For someone who's felt like an imposter in most parts of her life, this was simultaneously terrifying and uplifting. Then IT happened. One of the writers told me that she had been blown away by one of the others--that it had been her "snowball in the back of the head moment," and she'd really been personally inspired and felt validated.
That sharing, and the workshop she led a few hours later, was my SNOWBALL. She came out of the ether and was real. She'd felt and experienced thoughts and cultural baggage that I do. She spoke of the minutiae of life that we all struggle with. Her story intersects my own, and I saw that I could be her...a writer. But first, I have to finish something.
That's where the Jarred Mice of the title comes in. In Anne Lamott's essay, "Shitty First Drafts," the most inspiring section is where she speaks of silencing censors by picturing them as mice and then placing them in a glass jar and sealing it. Each semester, I use that essay with my developmental English classes as a way to let them know that their perception of writing as something outside and above their reach is clouded by the "fantasy of the uninitiated." So now, I must quit being a hypocrite and start jarring my mice.
Oh, if you're still wondering about the long line of whores thing....you'll just have to keep reading.