Sunday, August 10, 2008

Writing II

Why is it that in that one true moment of epiphany there are also ten thousand moments of insecurity, self-doubt, calamity, and general fear? It's like sure the sign says to go ahead and feed the swan but you can't because all the bloody ducks keep eating your bread. All you really wanted was for the picture perfect snow-white swan to lengthen out her neck and pluck that tiny bit of bread out of the water, and maybe for her to spread out her wings in an appreciative sort of way but instead what happens is all of the noisy, scrambling, greedy ducks race after the bread, while laughing at you with their sharp little quacks, while the lovely swan turns away from you - miffed that you didn't get the bread to her, and then you realize that not only did you not throw the bread far enough but its now, quite obviously, not the right type of bread, so of course only the ducks will love it, and they clammer for more, swimming alongside your little boardwalk as you try and escape them, hurling bread over your shoulder in an attempt to distract them, which of course they see right through, while the other pedestrians laugh at you for your sheer idiocy when it comes to the bread throwing antics.

I'm having some trouble with my writing, as it were. And even now I find myself more infuriated that I can spend a mere five minutes on paragraph about ducks that will hopefully have a few of my readers smiling to themselves but for some reason or another I cant seem to turn out a decent chapter for my novel. The story is there, the characters are there. But for some reason my pages seem flimsy and see-through. Part of me says that its simply because I'm starting out. That maybe I haven't gotten the flow, the heartbeat, of it all down just yet. That small part is quickly silenced by the rest of me which thinks I'm a hopeless failure and am using up my laptop memory with writing akin to the paper they line fish with at the markets.

There was a time in my life where, should this have occurred, I might have lightly shrugged my shoulders, said "Well, that's that," and gone on my merry way - probably off to buy a pygmy goat or to steal one of those lovely bright traffic cones (which, by the way, for those of you concerned with my crime habits, I haven't done - I did receive two however via a present from my boyfriend J - thank you again!). But now I'm more deeply involved. It's like when someone buys a pet fish for you - a fish that you didn't really want and certainly don't need. For the first few days you're impassive towards this fish. You think of naming it but you also think of frying it up and feeding it to the kitty. You feed it - out of boredom if nothing else, but it doesn't really belong to you yet. Those are the days where you can give the whole thing up, tell the fish you're flushing it and then proceed to do just that. If you wait though you'll find yourself growing attached to the fish. You'll realize that it sort of seems to bob its head approvingly when you talk out loud to it, and that maybe it flicks some water out with its tail when the plants are getting a bit dry. Soon you'll find yourself admiring shiny marbles and little green castles wondering if "Fredrick" would like them and eagerly awaiting your next paycheck at which point you will buy that nice big twenty gallon tank all for your fish that you didn't really want in the first place.

Sadly enough for me, I'm there. Not with the fish -obviously, however if that happens I'll be sure to take pictures as it all goes down, but with my writing. There was a point were it didn't matter to me one way or the other - I could write or not write, whichever way the wind blew, and either way I was happy. I suppose some childish part of me though that it was only my motivation that was the problem - that surely if I just sat down to write consistently the writing itself would come naturally. However now that I've actually done just that I've realized that not only may I be just completely terrible at this whole "Fiction" business but that I also cant live any other way. Where I didn't give even the slightest of a damn before I now have fallen in love and certainly will not resurface. My on and off affair with writing has ended entirely and I am now married to the idea - never to be parted.

Its inevitably cruel that right when I've committed myself to the idea of pursuing a career as a writer I also realize that I'm absolutely awful at it.

Needless to say - this has been a very long afternoon.

Lizzy

3 comments:

**City Girl said...

your blog is one of my favorites because i know everytime i come here to read your posts, i will be blown away at the way that you say things. it doesn't matter if you are talking about life matters or nothing at all, you have an amazing way with words. don't ever give up on the committment you have made to be a writer because you are fantastic. everybody has their days where nothing comes to you, but you have a gift, don't forget that...

Sarah said...

Whenever I write I never think about what I'm writing until it's over. I've only ever written short stories though. But I don't think about what I write ever, it comes from the gut. It builds itself up and I get antsy for a pen and the next thing I know it's three hours later and I have words in front of me. Words I don't remember writing, characters I don't remember creating, worlds I don't remember breathing life into. But then I never think anything I write is really fiction it's just a story from the otherside coming out through my guts.

But I do love the way you write. Ever since you commented on my blog and lead me to yours I feel like such a dumbo for not knowing you were out there. I love the way you string words together breathing life into sentences. I love the way you seem to turn left when I think you are turning right and can take the post in a whole different direction. I love the unknowing effect you give to your writing. Because you can go left instead of right because you pause where others would have plowed on through, you bring a whole different swing to the ball game my dear.

And my comments today are far too long.

Tassie Rosamond said...

I love your writing. Hang in there....the words will come!