Feeling restless...

It always happens at the worst times. I love to be writing and working...but, then, I just want to jump ship. I would love, right now, to get on a plane and hide away in Oxford or somewhere in Scotland. I feel inspired already, but I want to be in the land that surrounds me with constant inspiration. Oxford and the Highlands feed my soul in ways that I just can't get anywhere around here. Some might laugh, but I can say that, when I was in Scotland, I felt truly at home. It was as if I had returned to the place where I belonged. I love Oxford and all of the literature and history surrounding it...but Scotland...yes, it is the home of my most very distant ancestors...and maybe there is still a memory encoded in my DNA somewhere.

So, to beat the frustration, I throw myself into work and books. I am in the very frustrating stage of revising a chapter right now (not fun at all...I would rather be writing a new one!). I love my scholarly research, but I would also like to publish a novel or short story one day. Writing and researching and creating...those things are not problems for me (obviously!). But, the publishing world is brutal BRUTAL. I am not devastated by rejection or anything. That isn't what I am talking about. It is just the game you have to continue to play (for most people, for years) before you get someone willing to take your work. So many wonderful authors are turned down. It really has not much to do with talent. It really is just finding the right person at the right time to read your work. Better and worse stories/novels/articles than mine are published every day. It is just how things work.

I do wonder, though, what is going to happen in this age of digital media. The more we turn our tastes to reading digital books on E-readers rather than going out to the store to buy a copy, the more the publishing world will change. Costs of printing are eliminated. Therefore, potentially, more authorship opportunities should open up, right? There is a problem with all of this, however...though we already see it in blogs. ANYONE can publish in this type of world. People who don't edit or who have nothing (or horrible) things to say. I am not advocating censorship. But, I do think that finding good things to read is going to be both overwhelmingly problematic and extremely exciting. The sheer volume of material is going to be amazing.

Like I said, blogs fall into this category already. Maybe I shouldn't be writing either! Maybe all I have to say is nothing. Maybe it is self-serving. Maybe it is the culmination of all vanity to keep a blog. I suppose all of these things are true. But, my blog is sometimes my salvation. It is a place where I can get rid of the tension and the frustration--and just have fun. I don't seek to harm anyone and I hope to provide a record of thoughts and ideas. (I would never, however, bash someone on my blog. That is something that I find revolting.) I also see blogs as the new 18th cent. coffee shop of ideas. (I think that I have written about this before...) Anyway, I spoke with a student (one of my favorites) about this today, and I encouraged her to become part of some community of ideas, whether it be through a blog or a group of another kind. It is all extremely exciting.

Oh, well. I guess that is enough blabbing about nothing for one day. As for future posts: I am still planning on blogging about all of Shakespeare. However, it takes time to get through it and my time is limited. I like to take that seriously, but the dissertation gets all of my serious thoughts at the moment! Still, I hope to blog about a play soon. Maybe I will read one over the winter break. Maybe The Winter's Tale or Troilus and Cressida. I am also fascinated by the Romantics at the moment...Byron has my attention in a new way, so I might have something to say about him soon. (All of this comes from trying to reformat the class I teach next semester. I have been teaching it the same way for a while and want to do something different.) Will be blogging about Elizabeth Taylor at every chance I get! (Oh! And there is a new book coming out about her influence...sometime in the spring...very exciting!). I would like to blog about a few more of her movies: The Driver's Seat, The Sandpiper, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and X, Y, and Zee. Anyway, I never run out of things to talk about. I thank all of you for taking the time to read or browse or look at pictures! Comment whenever you like!

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