Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Morning

*(dear reader, please excuse the fact that this post has almost nothing to do with morning--except for that was when it was written.)

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.


sophie said...

writing should be exactly that -
a gust from inside not a
demand or a sentence
(he he)

love the light on your
beautiful table and that
peak of the rug is pretty -
we have very similar
"looks" to our environments:)

have a beautiful Sunday:)

Anonymous said...

My teen age daughter pointed out that she thought a 50k word count was about the Most stupid..anti-creativ thing she had ever heard of.

It really has turned out to be somewhat of a BUZZ KILL, if ya know what I mean...

Loralee Choate said...

Ug. I am not doing the noblopowhateverthefreakitis posting month, either.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have NO problem posting daily, but I HATE being under the pressure to do so.

It makes it so much less joyful.

Good on, ya!


OH MY FREAK I love that painting. I would kill to own a "Jessie Original". I envy your painting talent. I would love to have the artistic ability to have stacks of paintings leaning against every wall and covering every surface of my house.

HoBess said...

Bravo! I love this post. I love the serenity of your dining room. I love the way you always write to us from wee hours. I LOVE what you shared from Friedman's book. And I love that you've rededicated youself to the writing ... ignoring the counting. Myself? Too chicken to actually sign up for NaNoWriMo, but I've been trying to concentrate my writing efforts, instead of my usual splatterings of thoughts. Good luck!

paris parfait said...

Wonderful post - very arty lighting and rug. As for that book, I hadn't heard of it and must get it immediately - because the excerpt you wrote could have been written by me up until I started writing this blog - always putting it off for the very reasons stated. Your post is a gift to me today. Thank you, Jessie! And keep writing. :)

giggles said...

Are you the voice in my head….I’m thinking so. I too am a born again writer. Blogging daily, often feeling pressured and dumb founded by certain prompts. Annoyed by interruptions! Fear my redundant thoughts. I could blather on, but I won’t. Excellent post…today I feel normal! Thank - you!

Peace and giggles

Anonymous said...

i love that quote. i love you for sticking that insane word count up its ass. i just love you. (and didi read my mind...when i have a fucking second to breathe, i'll email you, k?)

love you, sweet girl.

Kristine said...

I love what you have said. I tried the writing Nanubeleoffjdj, (or whatever it's called) thing last year and I realized that I have never done well creatively under pressure so severe and extreme. I almost forgot that until I gave it thought this year and decided not to do it. As for the one blog post a day, I started a blog because it was fun and gave me a sense of freedom. Why would I want to make it into a task?
I like that you are writing in a variety of places. I used to take a sketch book with me everywhere I went. There is something very pure and sacred about that...

melba said...

Today is day 5 of NaBloPoMo and i am feeling the difference between making 2 LONG posts a week and making a post a day. I feel unfinished on some posts and like me, everyone else in the blogosphere is so busy posting that there is not as much time to bowse and comment.

I am hoping to learn how to work at my own pace this week. I whope the same for you.

Anonymous said...

YAY for shoving deadlines up someone else's ass! i raise my glass to you!

deirdre said...

Well, I read lots of morning/new beginning/awakening in this post - so I think you're right on target. I've thought a few times about doing Nanowrimo and have come to the conclusion each time that it might turn something I do for my soul into work. Ewww. I'll need to read this book too. It's so easy to allow distraction to push writing to the back corner.

Anonymous said...

I love that quote too...I actually carried it around with me for a long time. Maybe it's time to fish it out. I certainly needed to read it.

NaNo works for me, but I certainly see how it wouldn't for everyone. As long as you're still writing (and I am still reading). ;)

Let's get together SOOOON...I miss you!

--Mardougrrl, too lazy to log in.

Novel Nymph said...

I am doing NaNo too--so I know it is an ordeal! But don't throw it out just yet. The month is still young...

As long as you are writing and painting! I envy you for the painting...Katharine Hepburn picked it up at 30--so I guess it is not too late for me!