How do you write? How do you read?

@postaday 280; #postaday2011.

I have another blog that you will never see unless I publish the whole shebang at once, a huge gathering of words wondering why. It’s embarrassing. Writing is embarrassing. Watching people read what I write makes me blush, makes my heart race, makes me run to the bathroom with uncertainty. I cannot stand it until someone says it’s OK. Well, more than OK. More like, “I really liked that story…that blog entry…that tweet (all 140 characters of it?). Or that they loved it. Or that they felt compelled to action. Or that they felt compelled to write themselves.

As a result of my writing, I have an extremely difficult time reading bound books. I loathe walking into Barnes and Noble and I’m relieved I no longer have to endure Borders Books and Music. It fills me with shame. All those books lined up like soldiers with so much to say. Many I love, like Thomas Hardy‘s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Far from the Madding Crowd.”  I love “Beowulf,” I love “The Canterbury Tales,” I still hold love in my heart for my sophomore English literature teacher in high school, who brought these old stories to me. I love well edited stories. I guess who or what I love are those who edit. I welcome edits in my own work. When I was first getting started, I resented edits. They stifled my voice. But now, I back off from the words, and I let editors have their way. With me. With my words.

I’m glad I read such books before I started writing for a living. I know I can go back to them, and love them still, because they are perfect. It is the imperfect that sells well that blows my mind. Where are the standards? And that’s my problem. I write, I edit myself, I question myself, I embarrass myself, I select all, I control x. And then I think of all the other writers who should have done the same. Yet there they sit, pool side in the shadow of their Beverly Hills mansions writing schlock for the masses without standards. Laughing all the way to their online bank accounts.

It’s torture.

What do  you want to read when you pick up a book? I cannot write romance. It’s embarrassing.