[ Big Brew ]
Let’s get the old girl fired up again. My imagination that is. I just brewed myself an enormous cup of coffee and seeing as how we’re approaching 10 PM, that was probably a mistake. But no matter! I experienced a very frustrating day at my job and I really don’t want the same thing to happen here at work (see what I did there?).
(pause for long, obnoxious sip of coffee)
Approaching the end of Part One feels very much like falling into a black hole. Theoretically speaking, of course. You see, if you were unfortunate enough to cross the event horizon of a black hole you would never actually reach the singularity. To an outside observer, you would approach the singularity but appear to freeze before you reached it. From your own perspective, the entire universe would look like it was in fast forward. It would die before you had a chance to experience the quark-crushing depths firsthand.
Really, it’s kind of a let-down.
I just know that once I’m done, I won’t REALLY be done. I have more I need to add in and wrinkle out and cut around, on and on and on. I’m like Sisyphus. Except of course he was cursed. I don’t know what my excuse is.
[ A New Ending to and Old Beginning ]
Well, I’m getting this started a lot later than I really wanted to. My talent for procrastination again. But what’s really important is not when I started, but that I started at all. I have come a long way from the person who spoke often about writing but seemed to have no real commitment for it. For about two months I did not do my writing and felt “fine,” though the guilt nagged at me. I was afraid that even after I started up again that little vacation would mean that I’d lose my obsessive edge. Fortunately, I’ve found that isn’t the case. I need to do 1,500 words this weekend because otherwise I will feel like (and be) a failure.
I am nearing the end of this book. Thank god. There is still editing and additions that need to be done. However, I am finding (once again) that heavy editing completely ruins my writing. I don’t really understand what’s happening, I only understand the result. I edit something to a point I feel is as near “perfection” as I’m going to get it, but then when I come back to it after two months what I find is stilted and lifeless, unrecognizable as my own writing. I must stop line editing as I go. It’s damaging and it’s a waste of time. Give the writing time to “set.” I know I’ve heard that advice over and over, from both professionals and my family and friends. I’ve said it before myself. But saying and doing is, of course, two different things.
I think, however, that if I don’t learn this lesson things will continue to be very difficult for me.
A Fictional Retelling of My Appointment with a Hypnotist in Ten Years Time
HYPNOTIST: Your email said you wanted help with your profession.
WRITER: That’s right.
HYPNOTIST: Okay, great. So what do you do?
WRITER: I’m a writer.
HYPNOTIST: Wow. That’s fantastic. Anything I might have read?
WRITER: Do you have a tumblr account?
HYPNOTIST: I’m sorry?
WRITER: Never mind.
HYPNOTIST: Okay. Are you suffering from writer’s block?
HYPNOTIST: Publishing anxiety?
HYPNOTIST: Creative logjam?
HYPNOTIST: Sexual dysfunction?
WRITER: What? No. I mean, I don’t think so.
HYPNOTIST: Alright. So what’s the problem you’re having?
WRITER: I want to stop.
HYPNOTIST: Stop… what?
WRITER: Writing. I want to stop being a writer.
This is a 5,000 word bio for one of the viewpoint characters in my novel. There are five of them.
What in the holy hell is wrong with me?
[ Very, Very Strange ]
I spent much of last night figuring out how to theoretically cause a non-sexual sapient species to feel sexual arousal.
Sometimes being a writer is very, very strange.
Hint: Injections of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid and (eventual) conditional drug response to erotic stimuli should do the trick.
I probably shouldn’t complain, but…
I feel like my job is a place that says, “Sit here and do nothing of substance, wasting yourself, and we will give you enough money to remain fed and housed.”
What’s not fine is that I say, “Okay.”
I’m coming back from vacation tomorrow… But I think the lake is trying to make me stay.
marybroadbent replied to your post: [ Hallelujah! ]
Dear Jesse, Hooray for your efforts! cannot wait to hear all about the novel from you in person. Hopefully a meet up can be arranged in September perhaps when the weather is cool and the sky is clear! ttfn Mary b
That would be most excellent, Mary B! I’ve been following your cross-country trek with great interest. Right now you’re in my old stomping grounds of Joplin, where reality TV very nearly killed my creative soul. Be wary, my dear.
[ Hallelujah! ]
After five months of heartache (and heartburn), I’m happy to say that the rough draft of the novel (the toilet paper draft) is done.
I’m pleased, but also intimdated. I feel like I’ve finally reached the summit of a steep hill — only to see the gargantuan mountain on the horizon.
My thoughts can be summed up thusly: “Ugh.”