One, I am suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous technology -- this blog seems the only thing that has worked right in several days. I was in the midst of composing a truly witty email to a friend, then Gmail apparently deleted it, to my dismay. Then, my cell phone, having decided that my life is far too easy when its own singular capabilities are accessible and in working order, has decided to pull the plug on its own keypad. I can access nothing, and the screen appears only when I plug or unplug the bally thing. Therefore, I have to shell out however much of my savings to purchase a newer model. Granted, I don't think they even MAKE that model of Blackberry, which is all well and good, since it's the third of its kind I've owned in a year.
However, all of this particular persecution pales in the blinding light of the TRUE issue at hand. What's really going on with me is this:
- I am trying to be a writer. Or a novelist, to be more precise.
- I am consumed by this ardent desire to do nothing but WRITE. I don't want to see people. I don't want to watch TV. I don't even felt like eating much. (MOST unnatural.)
- Curses! I have to live somehow, so I am forced to do things like . . . work. And run errands. As I am not James Patterson or Rick Riordan or any of these fellows who are capable of living off their writing, I must shuffle through hours of mundane sledge in order to gain so much as a foothold on the glorious process that is becoming the Trilogy.
When I am working, I know, deep within me, in my heart of hearts, that it is what I MUST be doing. Everything else loses color, and draws away, and it's like I'm caught up in some sort of trance and I HAVE to finish the paragraph -- or segment -- or entire chapter. This must be how Jo of Little Women always felt. I don't closet myself in the attic -- for we haven't an attic that's habitable; not at this time of year, at any rate -- but I do try to cut myself off from those around me. This is not rudeness, I shouldn't think -- it is inspiration! It is the artist's way! As King Julian so aptly puts it, "It's nothing personal; we're just better than you."
(I'd like to assume we know one another well enough by now to not have to specify this, but I'll go ahead and specify it anyway: that was a joke. Well, partially. The quote at least was a joke. To be honest, it didn't exactly apply, but I just find it so funny I could not resist including it.)
You will be glad to hear (I hope, anyway) that I have, at last, ironed out the wrinkles in the plot that were giving me so much trouble around the time of my last post. I thought and thought and thought, rather like Winnie-the-Pooh, and ultimately, I had to break a few of my own rules. But! What good are one's own rules if one cannot break them oneself, I ask?! They were actually very necessary transgressions, and the work, even in its unfinished form, has a much healthier glow now. It was like re-opening an improperly-healed wound; now I have cleaned it, and it will heal correctly, and the scar will not be unsightly, but will instead be a beautiful reminder of the painful process in which it had to grow.
I ought to be grateful for all of these ordinary things that keep "getting in my way"; things like family meals, and spending time with friends, and living up to expectations and keeping my word. And I am grateful, to be sure. However, this work is truly devouring me. Fortunately, I work at a job that is relatively mindless and repetitious, so it enables me to appear daydreaming while really I am working out different conversations, or plot twists, or mannerisms a character might have . . . That, at least, is a convenience. I have one foot in fact and one foot in fiction, and I just hope I can be flexible, because combining them feels like a particularly awkward game of Twister. If you know the expression "Lost in his/her own little world," I often have the sensation of being just exactly that. I know some people think I'm slightly dumb; I just hope no one thinks I'm crazy -- for "Dumb" can be disproved.
Anyhow, I have put my shoulder to the plow as I never have before, and I have already reaped enormous benefits. My manuscript is, at present, 296 pages long. I never dreamt I would make it this far! But I have, and I shall continue, and I shall finish. It's all a matter of time and effort.
"Never, never, never give up," said Winston Churchill -- and I shan't!!
I give you my word.