Tuesday, January 3, 2012

seed


after working a few hours this morning, my day was disrupted by the sound of a jack hammer right outside my window. this is an issue when one works from home. so i packed up and decided to be a nomad today and spend at least part of the day working from sfmoma. it has been quite productive actually, with my sipping on blue bottle mocha and listening to tunes on my ipod as i respond to folks' emails as they are returning from their holidays and conducting some research for my own projects.

i thought i'd take a break from work and write a bit for the blog.

i welcomed the new year huddled in my place, trying to recover from being sick, and ignoring the world. often times when this happens, i use this time to get up close and personal with a book. instead of reading something new though....i decided to reread betsy lerner's the forest for the trees. my copy is the first edition....published over a decade ago.


it has been a very very long time since i read or referenced this book. i started to think about it recently because i bought the updated edition at green apple for a friend for xmas. she is interested in pursuing writing....and much like when i used to be an editor....i thought about lerner's book and how useful it is for a new author. from my perspective, lerner provides some candid advice about the pros and cons of what it means to be a writer in the publishing industry. i have a feeling that my friend and i will be having many conversations about writing and publishing over the next year or so.

admittedly, when i was also an editor, i also referred to the book to remind myself....during some rather challenging moments....why i was an editor....and why i enjoyed it.

it was a wee bit bittersweet that i reread the book....having made the decision to walk away from publishing and being an editor so many years ago. yet, like any heartbreak that has enough time and distance....i'm at a point where i can remember certain moments fondly and remember why i did it and why it was good for me....at the time.

my re-reading of this book was also serendipitous....as it also made me realize that despite not being an editor anymore....there are certain aspects that i still carry with me.

specifically the aspect of representing what you love.

i remember as i was reading through through the book....with a different set of eyes....and having just written my represent post....it made me think about how these days....instead of books....i'm seeking out food, dishes, restaurants, and people....who are doing things that i respect and sincerely want to tell people about....whether in this blog, flickr, twitter, etc. etc. that i put in personal effort to support them because i want them to be successful....because i believe in them, their food, or their vision.

yet, this didn't fully crystallize for me until last night when i was writing a bio for a homie.

as i was writing the bio, i had a sense of deja vu. because, in a previous life...as an editor....i had done the exact same thing....dozens and dozens of times. i didn't remember this until i was in the middle of doing it. writing one's own bio is a total suck-o-rama experience. back in the day, i had some extraordinary brilliant authors with some extremely healthy egos....but when faced with their own bios....they would call me and ask me to write it for them....because they honestly didn't know what to say. also, it is challenging to have someone else that doesn't know you write it....because there is a lack of trust in someone you don't know. so when i saw that the homie was having some challenges writing his bio, i guess it really isn't a surprise that i ended up offering to write it for him.

yet, it made me realize that despite how much i may have changed over the years....there are still certain aspects that i seem to have carried with me....without being fully conscious of it. it made me realize that it is possible to walk away from a passion or identity such as being an editor....and transforming it into something else....but still keeping that seed of what drew you to that passion in the first place.

for someone that is supposedly so smart, it took me a while to realize what was right there in front of me.

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