Monday, September 17, 2007
It’s looking like I should rename this blog: Let’s talk about why I’m not writing.
But seriously folks, I’m working on it. I am. Really.
As my workshop mates continue to amass their fortunes (Chuck Palahniuk has landed another 3-book contract and entertains movie deal offers every week; Chelsea Cain’s book, Heartsick, is # 8 on the NYT list after less than two weeks on the shelf), I’m off climbing mountains and having lots of sex.
Okay, I’m not implying that my successful writing friends aren’t getting any, I’m just saying...
Rachel brought up an interesting question in her comment (the tomato picture post). Do we have to be manic, miserable or morbid in order to get 'er done? I was talking to my boyfriend’s brother yesterday about how hard it is for me to weave cloth from air. To gather the delicate details that create a completely original world of invent and make it compelling enough to go the distance. I’m not an outliner by nature because I worry about my tendency to be a faithful administrator of preconceived versions of things—not wanting to betray the original inclination by dumping it for a new sexy direction that bubbles up during process. It’s the same stupidity that causes me to have sentimental backthoughts of the minivan I kicked off the island in favor of my sporty Element.
One thing about climbing up above the clouds is that the petty thoughts that normally clog the pipes don’t claim a person quite as fiercely. You get up to 10,000 feet and the air is thin and you realize that all you have is your lungs, heart, and brain. Oh yeah, and your legs. Especially your legs: knees, ankles, toes. I’ve had moments immersed in writing that are similar. When things are distilled to their basic and necessary elements: the word. The sentence. The white space.
It’s a gift when the world falls away and you find yourself filled with the moment. Most weeks I get there, maybe for only five minutes, maybe, if I’m lucky, for a half hour. Artists and mountain climbers. Writers, musicians, lovers. I guess that’s the thing, right? What we strive for? Not a flush bank account?
Ah well. I need to leave this planet now and find a new way to talk about breadcrumbs.