why this writer likes blogging

edvard-munch-_madonna

Madonna by Edvard Munch

I know of a blogger who migrated his words to another blog so he feels less inhibited. I won’t tell because I want to keep this to myself. His words are little licks of pleasure. I feel this for all good writing. When I read Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I thought wow this is almost better than sex.

I get drunk on deep-well writing. My lover is a poet. He reeled me in with a good old-fashioned love email. I lost it when my computer crashed and I’m still pissed off; although if I close my eyes, I recall flashes of it. He lost his copy to his own ghost in the machine.

So this writer loves blogging because of what all writers know (and non-writers know but don’t really know) – that writing is remorselessly lonely. It is soul-bitingly lonely that writers get depressed as they wade through their novel. Perhaps the nature of writing itself triggers a dormant proclivity to mood disorders. And how can it not when you’re in your head the whole day and get incredibly bitchy when someone tries to engage you, even if you’re just staring into space, especially when you’re staring into space, because this is where the first draft gets written.

This project I’m working on– which is most likely shit and will never be published– consumes me to the point that I feel I’m half in, half out of my real life. I passed a shop window yesterday and caught my reflection. I was scowling. I thought, fuck, is that how I look most days, like I’m thinking of killing someone?

Annie Dillard, a published writer, advised in The Writing Life: Why not shoot yourself, actually, rather than finish one more excellent manuscript on which to gag the world? I see her point. When I’m in a bookstore, I like to run my fingers down book spines and think of the thousands and thousands more coming. The world doesn’t need another author. Don’t we all have stacks of books by our bedside waiting to be read, and most likely won’t ever get read? Will I strip trees to no purpose? Dillard’s right, I really ought to shoot myself instead of shoving another novel down your throat.

But I can’t do that.

I have thought of this project (novel, say it, novel) for so long that if I ditch this now, even if it has failure written all over it, I would have to ditch on everything else. So I write. Sit in the chair every morning, more often than not in a cafe, bite my lip til dry skin peels off and I bleed, and stare at the screen that asks: well, is that it, is that all you’ve got?

I like blogging because I get to write what I want without worrying that it won’t be published. I get to pretend that I’m interacting with people, even if they live on the other side of the planet. I sometimes use blogging to unkink before I stretch into my novel. And I like getting feedback and the occasional compliment for writing a 500-word post. Every kind word you leave me gets tucked away. Like someone going on a long walk, I ration. I have to live on this you see as the serious writing that goes on in the background may never get any.

About listentothebabe

writing is the teeth that gnaw on my bones.

33 comments

  1. So this project I’m working on– which is most likely shit and will never be published– consumes me to the point that I feel I’m half in, half out of my real life. I passed a shop window yesterday and caught my reflection. I was scowling. I thought, fuck, is that how I look most days, like I’m thinking of killing someone?

    This. A thousand times this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really, really good post. I think your novel will be a work of art. I’m looking forward to reading it and reminiscing about these miserable days.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. estelea

    I can appreciate your pain. We readers are like vampires, sucking your ink. You are the one creating, the one doubting, the one depressing. We are the proud fathers waiting for the baby to come out clean and well dressed. As a good father, all we can do is provide for your material needs. You ‘ll get a full box of lip balms, you’ll get whatever it takes, but you’ll give birth to this novel. You’ll look so proud on the Bday announcement, a little stoned like all those new Mums. But you’ll smile of relief. Then the baby blues will probably hit you, and you’ll be convinced of your sterility. But hey, we are only fathers. We’ll be too ecstatically lost in your creation to really care about your feelings. Your cappuccino is on us this morning, go to work !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Keep writing, whether you’re gonna publish it or not. I know it’s good to be heard, but most importantly it’s good to be able to say your piece; heard or unheard.

    And I also know that some people call it intellectual masturbation… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d like to read your book.. I like the unkink description.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I recently went to a talk by Amanda Palmer at the Sydney Writers’Festival and she spoke about three things pertinent to this post:

    1. She came up with this concept called The Fraud Police that follows around everybody who is creating anything and waits for a weak moment to attack. She keeps waiting for them to jump out and reveal to the world that she has no clue what she is doing and is a total fraud, just winging it and lucking out every step of the way. It was pretty reassuring seeing an incredibly successful artist feeling like that too.

    2. When asked about the differences between writing and performing on stage she immediately talked about how lonely it is. As she put it “Nobody fucking claps when you finish writing a book!”

    3. Always remember that art *is* important in its own right. Never doubt that a creative act is worth pursuing – even if you’re the only one who ever sees it. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who believe in you.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Andy

    I am not asking for much, only a few thousand “likes” of appreciation from my half a million or so followers. Is that too much to expect? From strangers, of course. Further away geographically the better. Not from people close, who will either frown and question the point, or effuse beyond reality. A “like” for one of my little projects will suffice until tomorrow. You’re not seeing my big stuff …

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I had a revelation the other day that I actually enjoy writing about life more than living it! I used to dream about achieving this state, but now it rather bothers me. Enjoyed your post and agreed with it, as well. Keep writing!. Judy

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s easy to get sucked into writing, as tedious a process as it is. But I try to contain writing in the morning. Then I live. Although I am not always so disciplined; that’s when I walk around scowling… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah…a further thought. My (unfortunately deceased) husband was a poet who promptly stopped writing as soon as we married. A few years later, I asked him why. He answered, “I think it is because I can only write when I’m unhappy.” There was not much I could say to protest his writer’s block after that, but I did start worrying when he started writing again. .–Judy

      Liked by 2 people

      • haha! That’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing. I worry too that once I am more settled in life, the urge to write will diminish. It’s partly angst that drives us writers to the page isn’t it? It’s a sort of catharsis…

        Like

  9. Joseph

    And here I thought that you were some kind of writer-ninja, writing some crazy ass shit. All in control. One with the universe. Every stroke of the pen or key punched in, was a deliberate and calculated move. Now you’ve burst that bubble. This post has made me recreate you in my mind as a rōnin-writer. Which in my head is pretty awesome. So that’s some kind of compliment. If that makes as much sense to you as it does to me, you’re free to take it. Anyway that all the kind words I’ll ration out right now 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pingback: Revelation, Writer’s Block and Tweet, Twitter, Ping!!!! | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  11. Human

    Just what I needed

    Mmm

    Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The images and emotions you create in lyrics are fantastic! The world will always have room for another brilliant novel so keep writing it!

    Liked by 1 person

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