Wednesday, May 20, 2009

stuck in the mud

At the end, when it is finished, it is possible to discuss the book as if it were meant to happen that way the whole time. The writing of it is all dead ends, a lack of centre. The writing makes us insecure. We cannot write. We are bad writers. There is that whole time when we wrote nothing and had no focus at all.

This is the second longest time that I have been without writing. The first was taking medication. Nine months when I didn't care about the lack of words. I slept and ate and worked and socialised. I had no drive. The bad months of flat line. This is different. I have been distracted by success I suppose. I have a book coming out and I can't stop toying with it even though I should be moving onto something new. I am irritated, jumpy. I focus my attention on the real world as if that is the reason for my frustration. I give my friend the hardest time, spilling over into his world as if he could somehow protect me from my lack of output. I chat. I update my facebook. I do not write.

This morning I woke up at 5 and sat at my computer and I cannot run from it. I am reading Lorrie Moore and she is part of the problem. I am enjoying this book. It is seductive with it's clutter of words. To many words. It is all smoke and mirrors. I enjoy the wash of colour they provide, but they do not force me into a beginning. I need to shame myself into starting again. I need J Robert Lennon and ITalo Calvino and Raymond Carver. I need the books I can never finish because I put them down to pick up a pen. I need my writer friends to spur me into competition with there output. I want to shake them. Where is your output! But they are stuck fast in my mud and mire.

1 comment:

Ariel said...

I'm reading Lorrie Moore at the moment too and absolutely loving her. In my experience, reading great writing can either inspire you to write, give you an insight into another way of writing, or dissuade you from writing altogether.

I'm sure your head is too full of the current book right now to move on, but I'm sure that once it's in the world and you've done the initial rounds of publicity, you'll be ready to move on. Don't be too hard on yourself.