I find it difficult to come up with something interesting to say for this week's Sunday Scribbling because I write about morning just about every damn day...which led to me thinking: what are the recurring themes of this blog?...which led to me thinking about how absolutely redundant I am.
Last night I temporarily moved "shop" out to the dining room table. I needed a change of scenery. And this morning, when I returned, the sun was shining through the window at an angle that landed perfectly on the sky of a painting I have leaned up against the wall. I like to think of these stacks of paintings I have leaned up on nearly every wall of the house as "painterly"...but, in all reality, it is more like "neglected." Needless to say, today's neglected pile of paintings are having a nice effect on my writing space.
Lately I've been taking my writing with me more often. I might even have it in my head that I can't write unless something on the outside of me feels new. Of course, this is a dangerous belief. It relies on too many things. (such as right now. it is hard to write with v. rattling the sunday paper next to me--bless his heart--it's driving me crazy)
...which, naturally, leads to a few words about distraction. Never mind that this post is no longer even about "Morning." I've been getting good at writing about anything and everything other than what I actually sit down to write. But, about distraction, I've been reading Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life, by Bonnie Friedman. First of all, let me just say that I love it... and I have Mardougrrl to thank for pointing it out to me in that big, wonderful bookstore she brought me to a couple weeks ago. I was in heaven and happy as hell to have found a new book on writing--just when I thought I had already read all the good ones! Of course, it should come as no surprise that my favorite chapter so far is "Message from a Cloud of Flies: On Distraction." A good 3/4s of the chapter is now covered in underlines and margin notes to myself...with double underlines and a box around these words:
"It was my very commitment to writing that kept me from it. I wanted so much for it to be that ideal, submerged experience that I put it off. I saved it up. I longed for it, missed it, got bitchy about it, petulant, then again thought of it with a pang--an adored but long-gone love. What if the cherished one really isn't so beautiful after all? What if he turns out to be, upon reunion, slow, dumb, greedy, with lips that are thin and colorless--not at all as you'd remembered!
You love your work, so you don't touch it. You love your writing, so it's the very thing you must not do at all. You could not tolerate it if it didn't come out well. You could not tolerate yourself. You are thinking about the work, thinking about yourself, looking at the surface of the water, looking at the choppy face looking back"
And I can't even tell you how absolutely tired I am of being afraid of failing myself. Like Friedman, I think that the best writing is not about control, but release. Oh, sweet release. I do most of my writing early in the morning or late at night...when I'm most easily able to surrender my hopes and just write.
Last night, while walking with Anu, I was thinking about all of the recent writing obligations I've placed upon myself and how they are making me feel. I hate to burst any bubbles, but let me just say that I am absolutely hating NaNoWriMo. Sure, it's been a good jumpstart to get me writing more seriously again. I have been loving my life as a born-again-writer. I write in odd places. Randomly. I eat in restaurants that inspire me. Words and ideas are swimming around in my head like slippery fish.
I feel like I am expanding myself, expanding into myself.But it dawned on me (under the pale light of a street lamp) that I really don't need to do anything that makes me feel like more crap. NaNoWriMo makes me feel like crap (I'm a slow writer). Maybe I'll write more about these thoughts later, maybe not. But I made a decision:
I've decided to shove the 50,000 word count up someone's ass and JUST WRITE.
Every day. JUST WRITE....and write and write and write.