You have no idea how many people have sent me the link or tagged me on facebook about the latest Janis Joplin news — her porsche is going to auction at Sotheby’s. Of course I tagged my editor at Abrams and asked if they could purchase the car. Susan said sure thing and “we’ll take a road trip together.” Wouldn’t that be a kick? I’m picturing two writerly types, their hair whipping behind them speeding down Route 66.
I have other news, surely. But for now, let’s all just imagine what it would be like to ride cross country in a wild car, the wind in our faces….
Hi all — You might recall that my last post was about my efforts to write despite a long drought of wordlessness on the page. I told you that I’d become so busy with the everydayness of my teaching job, my family and my addiction to facebook — oh, wait, I didn’t mention that little addiction, did I? — that I was struggling to write at all. Then, when I finally found time to write, I avoided it by immersing myself in that wicked addiction of facebook and by just simply not writing. It got so my brain was telling me that there was really nothing I needed to say to the world through stories. But I did periodically pull out a notebook, review some Julia Cameron thoughts on creativity, and even take on some practice writing exercises. I was like a child waiting for the first drop of rain to fall and I discovered that my patience was growing thin. I decided I needed a heavy dose of time to write and be a student of writing so I headed to Vermont College of Fine Arts as a GA where I was allowed to sit in on lectures and where I hoped to rediscover the stories in my head. I went. I wrote. I wrote even though I felt like I might be too out of touch with writing. I wrote even though I could and should have been intimidated by all the brilliantly funny and sad and serious and heartbreakingly real characters that emerged through student and faculty readings. I wrote even though that wickedly bad editor in my head told me I suck and I should take up weeding gardens which is easier — for the record, I hate weeding gardens and am not very good at it. I wrote until I felt words come like raindrops — soft and sporadic at first — then steamy and steady. I realized as the words fell onto the page that my biggest reason for NOT writing was fear that I’m no longer good enough. It’s a fear I believe I have to tackle every single time I start something new or go back to revise a work. But this is the time for me to struggle through that fear which is thick as mud.
….and so, this is what I’m doing, standing in the rain of words, struggling through the mud of fear. Writing. I’m writing and I’m just telling myself it’s okay if this draft isn’t good. I can make it better if I keep writing. So I’m writing and writing and writing. At least — at last — I’m writing.
PS — I’m still going to facebook way too much but I’m also spending less time letting it become a suckhole of time.
I’m heading to Vermont College of Fine Arts on Wednesday where I’ll be writing until July 18. I CANNOT wait —- and I sure hope traveling halfway across the country to focus on writing works it’s magic.
For me, it’s been a struggle to get back to writing ever since January when some committee work in the English Graduate Program sort of stole my writing time. I thought I’d ease back into writing by revising a novel I completed last summer. But the editor inside my head has consistently told me it’s not good enough and so that’s been slow going. But then I also started a new novel and I’m excited about the idea. I have the plot in my head. I even have a significant character and her best friend. It’s a kidnapping story – I know that. But I absolutely have been struggling over figuring out the voice. The character I know best is a quiet innocent with a sensitive poet’s voice. Her best friend is more of a rock star sort of poet. I’m thinking that the best friend should tell the story. But then I hear the sensitive quiet voice too. Two points of view? Or does the rock start poet tell the story because the sensitive poet is unable to tell it?
At least I’m thinking about it, right?
But it’s been such a struggle to put words on paper. That is, it was tough until a friend invited me to sit on her porch and write together for a few hours this past week. I do hope that’s the breakthrough that helps me really use every available moment I have to write at Vermont College. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear how some of you have handled getting back to writing.