Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Damn I Love being a Writer

Journal 11-2

“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” -Thomas Mann

Yes. In a way. Granted, when we get on a roll things are all sugar and spice and singing birds and you want to laugh and dance around. Like for me for most of book #1. It was going splendidly. Then for some reason I took a break or just allowed a lapse of time to sneak in. When I went back to it I didn't have the same stride and went from daisies and lollipops to the other side of writing. The one where we sit and stare at a blank page and think, "This fucking sucks."

Sure, there are people out there who claim, "I can't write," and so they don't. That's pretty simple if you ask me. I think the difference lies in caring. Those people who say they can't write and don't both just don't care. To be honest I'm confusing myself a little. Let me think.

A writer gives a damn about their work, their characters, their setting, time, why this character does this, and that character does that. They care about all the little things in between. They have to play God for a little while and it can be exhausting sometimes, or just get them to the point where they don't want to do it anymore. There are people out there who might write, and think it's hard because they agonize over correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and technical details. That's what a lot of people think writing is - the technical aspect. The rest of us know it's more than that. They're looking at the tools - the silverware. We're looking at the meat and potatoes. We just use the silverware to get to something delicious. Writers consider everything when they work, how people will view it, how the author would like them to view it, why the antagonist is the bastard he/she/it is, what drives the protagonist, and so many other things. What words to use that would be most effective. To tag dialogue or not. Italicize or no? How deep to go into a mind, setting, etc. And this is just for fiction. Poetry is a whole other ballgame, but it's just as rough.

I remember during high school, everyone knew I was working on a book. For some reason I think it inspired other people to do the same. I don't know why. But my best guy friend Coby and my older sister Stacey decided to write books too. Now? Well, Coby gave up. That's another point I think works. I don't know if Mann meant writing as a process or everything it entails, but I know that a lot of writers can't give up writing. God knows I can't. I never will. As sucky as it can be sometimes, it's so important to me I can't abandon it. It's easy to give up. It's a lot harder to keep on going. I don't meant to imply that writing is always hard, but in the history of man, it's usually been a lot easier to just give up instead of forging ahead.

As for Stacey, well, initially she couldn't even write school papers well. I'm a self-taught writer (which a part of me still doesn't understand how that happened), and she would send her papers to our dad and me to look over and edit. But when she started working on her little book, which, much to my humble joy, uses my work as a base, she gradually grew much better. I'm sure college helped a lot, but I don't know for sure. I'd have to ask. But I do think she got a taste of what it's like to be me while she worked on her bit. She didn't want to work on parts that were boring, had to work around plots and dialogue and figure out who was going to be what, and all the other goodies that come with writing fiction. Sometimes when she was bored I would suggest she should work on her book. Heheh. She didn't really want to. It wasn't a negative, "Ugh, no," but more of that writer, "Yeah I should...but man...that means I have to sit down and write," type of feeling. I thought it was funny and always grinned when she declined because I knew why. Often she wrote when the feeling struck her. Writing is hard for writers because we have to write even without the muse, and that can be a real struggle.

And it's time for me to do just that.

Currently: Happy

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