Monday, June 1, 2009

Needful Things

No, not the book. Great (but strange) book...but this isn't about the book.

One of the most common questions that I get about writing and being a writer is 'why do you want to write?' or 'Why do you like to write?'

And my answer is usually "I don't know."

I don't think it's a matter of 'wanting' or 'liking' because sometimes I just absolutely hate it and the headaches and stress and sore fingers that come with it. Sometimes, I write things that make me cringe inwardly and not in a good way. True--it's usually easy for me to spot after I re-read it and it takes maybe two minutes to come up with something better...but...well...

truth is...it's about needing to do it.

When I first got pregnant with my first child Israel and decided to keep it--it wasn't so much because I thought her father was fan-freaking-tabulous...or that I was in love with him or anything like that. I mean, pretty early on I realized that I didn't like him all that much. Hey, we're being honest right?

I decided to keep her, because at that point in my life (and sometimes even now) I needed to feel that unconditional love. I needed to be the most important thing in someone's life--I needed to be loved and to love with out question, guilt or regret. I needed her. The moment I realized that I was pregnant, there was never a doubt that I was going to keep her. I needed her. So the times when I feel like there is nothing, that I want to...stop holding on for whatever reason...there she is and I'm renewed.

Writing in a way--in a big way...is like that for me. And I don't even write every day like people are always telling you should do if you're a writer.

"If you're a true writer...write at least something every day. Even if it's just a page."

I call...shenanigans.

Sometimes--at least for a person like me--I get so overwhelmed with writing...I get so over whelmed with ideas and thoughts and words...words in Times New Roman, font size point 12, indenting the margin 1.5' on all sides, headers, footers, page numbers, spacing--that I dream about it. Everything I see is a potential story...a potential chapter...everyone is a character or potential character. You stop seeing life as a thing you live. You see it as a thing you are supposed to write--and somedays you have to stop yourself because you'll lose yourself completely. You forget that--someone needs you. You forget that maybe you don't have the luxury to be even more self-involved than you already are (I know I am!).

But you are a writer and you don't simply write because you 'like' it. How can you form a love affair built on mere 'like'?

You...well...I can't. I need to pour everything I have at that moment into it because I need to know that I'm telling a story that needs to be told. That's why literary fiction chose me. I've tried to write other genres before and it just wasn't going down.


My wind came back. I expect the manuscript to be done by August and later on this week I'll post an excerpt. I don't imagine there will be alot of re-writing because I do that for days at a time on single chapters. I told you...Henry Rollins. And if I second guess myself and try to sound the way I think people want me to sound...it's going to be stupid. And one thing I hate is looking stupid.




Oh so...in other news: Eric went to go see his mom yesterday because she wasn't feeling well and after having Izzy run me ragged yesterday, I finally managed to put her to bed at about 8pm. I decided to clean my living room because it was filthy. Izzy got chicken and rice all over the rug. So, I'm cleaning and the hugest freaking mosquito EVER flew into the apartment--and it CHASED me. I chased it back with a broom and a bottle of bleach spray. I screamed...alot. I threw a pillow at it, sprayed copious amounts of bleach on it, hit it with a broom and it didn't die. I knew my neighbors thought I was loosing my mind. But I threw a pillow on it and then jumped on the pillow saying 'die! die! die!' and it did...finally. And then I left it there for Eric to clean up.

Wow..I got a little winded just recapping that.

4 comments:

Johanna said...

I like your take on why we write...

I think I write because for an otherwise shy, over-worked mom and wife, my writing is something from inside that I can put out into the world and for a moment let my thoughts and feelings free - even when no one particularly asked...

SP said...

You always have me crackin up! LOL Glad all is going well and you have loads of inspiration. You are brilliant, remember that! =)

Peace =)

cynthia said...

I enjoyed your six sentences!

... Paige said...

Here by way of 6s and your 6s; nice honesty. we all should be more