Saturday, October 29

Have I killed the albatross? (see also COLERIDGE; "Rime of the Ancient Mariner")

I have a love/hate relationship with the feeling I get when I sit down to write. First, I tend to either take in or shut out the things around me, highlight on the taste of my coffee and the look of what I've got on my desktop, put on some music, and then poise my fingers over the keyboard.

Sometimes I immediately have something begging to be written, and that is my favorite time (I don't have to feel like it's me writing--more of a channeling exercise, I guess.). Other times I will have to turn on a sort of mental light-switch, and then I can choose from a grab bag of things that want to be written about, but aren't willing to beg for it. Some of them aren't ready and take a bit of tweaking--alright, a LOT of editing.

The worst time is when I sit here at my keyboard aching to write something, and I can't. Nothing appropriate is ready to be written, and yet the high that I get off of finishing a piece (no matter how bad it is) is so addictive that I almost just want to do some sort of free-association stuff to get out SOMEthing. Then I feel guilty--was I supposed to try and force this? Am I feeding an addiction or writing something worth hearing? This is a blog, after all; not a journal. Journals are for mental experiments, the ones that don't need closure.

So a lot of the time I end up writing about writing, because I do a lot more thinking about writing than I do actually writing full-fledged stories (or even vignettes). I write down ideas on my grocery lists, and take down interesting words and names and concepts on coffee shop receipts (confession: I have a lot of these). Instead of writing fiction, I end up having the beginnings of an enormous grab-bag of ideas.

A grab bag of ideas is a marvelous thing, and I may say that it is much of the time a daydream I retire to during boring classes and dull but necessary social obligations. This is why sometimes I don't like to experience certain things, per se, but I do find them interesting. Ex. the Ramones: I don't like them, but they are interesting. Ex. human sacrifice: I want to know WHY, but I don't have to like it.

(There, now I have just compared the Ramones to human sacrifice. Hopefully, some of you didn't have to have that pointed out to you in order for you to laugh at it.)

So I'm stuck with a grab bag of ideas and nothing coherent to write. Brilliant.

You know what? I should totally take the idea of the literary quest and sieve a story into it, like those toys you have to push shapes through in the right holes. It would be child's play, but I'd understand a bit more, I think. Maybe put some of my own life into that form--I am utterly presumptuous that way, but there you have it.

1 comment:

sam said...

I'm more or less the same when it comes to writing. no idea bag though just a 12 year old notebook filled with blurbs, words,random snippets of overheard conversations.
I think you write amazingly well.