I haven't written much about Atwood's Negotiating With The Dead - primarily because I've been busy, but also because I've been thinking, especially about one particular essay. Not to mention the cover image - two little girls, exactly the same, one a little fuzzier than the other.
Within a writer, Atwood says, there are two different people - the one who lives and the one who writes. One half of the self who puts down words, throws herself into the creation of worlds - and another who's almost a spectator, worrying about mundanities, unable to recognize her work as her own.
For years now I haven't felt like my name was really mine, especially when it would come time to write my byline on scripts, essays, stories. The very rare occasions I've seen myself in print have always been disconcerting, because I feel so separate from the person on the page, the person who wrote the words. It was just like Margaret Atwood says. Because she is almost always right.
The reason it comes up, to give some not-very-sensical ramblings a place, is because one of my short scripts was selected yesterday as a potential 480 film - meaning that if a student director reads it and likes it, then it could be made into a 16mm film next semester. While the likelihood of getting a director is extremely small - student directors prefer to write their own scripts - it's still nice to be up on this list, for all to see...
...but at first, I just stared at it, a bit bewildered. Not really sure what I was seeing, disconcerted that someone with my name was on the list, but it wasn't ME - wasn't the girl who cries and lies and stays up late laughing with friends. It was that other person. The other girl in me, the one a bit fuzzy, out of focus.
I wonder if this is something that I'll ever figure out. If I'll ever feel like the writing me and the living me are one and the same. Or if I'll just come up with a nom de plume, be someone on the page - and someone else off it.