Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Writing about Writing

Dorothy Parker said that she hated writing, but loved having written. Allowing for Parker’s hyperbole, I think I understand that she’s talking about the frustrations of facing a blank page, or yesterday’s page that must be deleted and re-written, or any of the other challenges between the beginning, the pivot point and the conclusion of a novel. I’m beginning to feel the angst as I type. But I can’t say that I hate writing, because it is my default activity. I’m not sufficiently disciplined, nor am I enough of a masochist, to engage so much in an activity that I hate.
However, I completely understand the second part: she loved “having written.” I was reminded of the joys of having written, when, in spite of almost paralyzing stage fright, I launched Boston Tangle at an Author’s Salon at Hera Hub, Carlsbad, California on the evening of October 20. To bind my anxiety, I wrote out and read every word of my initial presentation. After all, I’m a writer, not a speaker. But I had a wonderful surprise during the Q &A. I discovered that having a conversation about writing was totally enjoyable, stimulating—even a little therapeutic. And that short period in a writer’s life, the time when the satisfaction of completing a new creation has not been forgotten in the slog of trying to learn about the characters in the next story, is the perfect time to consider one’s own process and hear the joys and sorrows of other writers’ processes.
The only downside of that conversation was time. “Had we world enough, and time….” That’s always the catch, isn’t it? In mulling over the dilemma, I decided that my solution would be—surprise, surprise—to write! In this case, to write a blog. My hope for this blog is that anyone who is interested in writing—from either a production or consumption point of view—will stop by, and eventually, contribute to the conversation. I’m guessing that most writers relate to Emily Dickinson’s plaintive This is my letter to the World That never wrote to Me— But that’s all part of the writer’s process, too. I hereby resolve to keep up my side of the conversation with regular posts. My commitment is for weekly posts, but they might turn out to be more frequent. Particularly if I’m at one of those many frustration points in my next novel. Then we can talk about the trap of a writer writing about writing rather than writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment