Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I am sad because of the writing. Everything can be tracked back to the writing. If the writing is good then I am momentarily happy but then the real world intrudes and a heavy melancholy sets in and lingers.

Sometimes I wonder if I have to get into this kind of heightened state of sadness to be able to write well. Some of my best work has happened when I am sad.

This kind of depression is not new to me. I have been experiencing it since I turned 15. Too much and I can not sit on the desk at all. A small dose of it and I cannot communicate with others which is the perfect kind of solitary confinement to begin writing. It is also too easy to accept the world as it seems when you are happy and confident. You are not pushing against the world. You are not encountering its hard edges.

I am being cruel to one of my characters in this new book. The one who looks a bit like me. I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. I walk out into the world and I have lost my edges. I have been getting up early, 5.15 and writing and I am tired all the time. I am finding novels tiring, except the Faulkner, but I shouldn't be reading the Faulkner because I am a bookseller and I have to read new release fiction for Christmas. I am finding that I am becoming angry about novels, about their failings. Then I am feeling like my own work is destined to be fatally floored like the novels that I am reading at the moment.

My character will hurt the girl who looks like me. He will hurt her because she is too eager and unattractive. He will hurt her because she is me and I have something against myself at the moment. I feel sorry for her but I do not feel sorry for myself. I feel angry at myself for being a lazy writer. For plodding along, one paragraph a day, for wasting opportunities that I might have taken. I see other, younger writers who are running into their fine careers and they deserve it but I am saddened by it.

I renew my commitment to hard work but I am exhausted already by the thought of it. I start a memoir which is clean and interesting and unsentimental and I think that my own memoir, which is being read as we speak will not be clean and unsentimental. I think that I might be boring. I feel judged before I have even begun. I can see the floors in my new novel before they are written.

I am declaring my insecurities and this in itself makes me feel insecure. There are so many books out there and so many writers and life just goes on and on and on. Tomorrow, I will get out of bed at 5am. I will be focused and I will not pause tho whinge or feel sorry for myself. I will just write. This is my re-commitment.

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