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An Acceptance of Failed Desire: A Short Essay on Writing

An Acceptance of Failed Desire: A Short Essay on Writing

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Published by Daniel McCarthy
The failure an artist experiences is to themself, when they let desire stand in the way of the work. A recent flurry of activity on my blog leads me to reflect on accepting this failure.
The failure an artist experiences is to themself, when they let desire stand in the way of the work. A recent flurry of activity on my blog leads me to reflect on accepting this failure.

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Published by: Daniel McCarthy on Jul 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/17/2010

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 An Acceptance of Failed Desires
 An short essay about writing
 www.drmstream.com 1
 
 A form
develops:a photo, an image really, and then some words...an impression, a thought. It is the same short formthat was the center of that foundational summer, the summerof Clipper and the room in the Manor House, of hot daysand intense images, a collection of naturalist writing, mentalpaintings, sketches. The form felt very natural then and feels natural now. Acentral thought, a few hundred words, an impression thatlingers. The blog,drmstream.com, offers a unique format for thisform: the impression is published right off; a quick sketchthat is dashed off and either hits it or doesn't on the firstpass. The stream-like quality gives each of the sketches a brief period to hang there, get seen, and then they wash away,maybe get found later. The next the one comes. There's no plan to the sequencing, no overarching composition. Some of the sketches can lead to other ideas,longer forms, but they are complete -- or meant to becomplete -- in each instance, each post.I do want to have rhythm. It is like noodling on thesaxophone, letting my fingers run up and down the keys, a
www.drmstream.com 2
 
tempo forming, thearc of the melody, atune, shaping andthen I'm playing something, have given shape to my imagination. The sketches are the same thing. That's been my voice, my sensibility, these riffs that cohereinto something brief and precious for me. That's where I'vealways headed and now I've got this form laid out and am working in it.Longer pieces, like stories, book and essays, have always beenharder to write. I got so discouraged once. Now it's not that way. There is something assuring, enforcing, about posting thosesketches and getting them shared, some people being touchedby them, a chord struck.I've been wondering if I have an old rejection letter fromGrand Street somewhere in my files.
www.drmstream.com 3

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