Saturday, November 15, 2008

On writing

"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go."
E.L. Doctorow (1931--)
A little inspiration for a Saturday, as I struggle to find the words inside myself to begin to tell my own story.
"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards."
Robert Heinlein (1907-1988)
However messy and unflattering.
I think I've spent a lot of time in Hair and Make-Up: concealing, powdering, enhancing, costuming. Perhaps now is the time to tear open, to strip bare, to lie naked in the street while people walk by. Funny how hard it is to motivate oneself to lie naked in the street...
"Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public."
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
I am growing tired of the cumbersome dance; the waltz around my own experiences; the industrious twirls engineered to draw attention away from the rather depressing turns in my story. There comes a time for these feet to stand still in the moment and listen to the music.
When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens."
Anne Lamott (1954--)
It is time to see what comes of it. It's time to ask the hard questions. Maybe it's time for The Moral of This Story. Maybe not...
"A hundred years from now? All new people."
Anne Lamott
So, really, why am I taking myself so seriously?
**Edited: There were a couple of glaring typos that have been driving me nuts. I couldn't stand it any longer, so I fixed them. Sorry if that messes with your reader. Run along now. Nothing (new) to see here.**

10 comments:

LaskiGal said...

Oh, Emily! We may be writhing around in the same cramped space. I am so where you are . . . in many, many ways.

I am so tired of censoring myself, polishing and "powdering" my words to spare conflict, hurt feelings and my own discomfort.

You DO IT. Be the beacon, be the flag held high, be the bellwether for the words, the stories to be told.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Drafting is like barfing up tomato juice and revising is like trying to get the stains out of the carpet. (mine)

Don't censure yourself when drafting. Let it be bad. Let it utterly suck. Fixing it is what revision is for.

I sold a story this am, btw. :)

meredithwinn said...

oh my... great words! great thoughts.

and i do love anne lamott so very much. there's a whole lot of wisdom there.

thanks for these quotes! and it's so wonderful to meet you! :)

Maggie, Dammit said...

Fantastic job!

womaninawindow said...

That last one made me laugh. Spit, really. Me too, taking myself so seriously. Fool I am.

Mary G said...

Love the quotes. Love your comments even more.
"I think I've spent a lot of time in Hair and Make-Up: concealing, powdering, enhancing, costuming."
Wonderful!

Meadowlark Days said...

Good quotes!

painted maypole said...

I'm in the midst of 2 Anne Lamott books right now, I'm reading Grace (Eventually) and listening to the novel Joe Jones on CD in the car.

YOUR story is sure to be amazing... even with the not so sunshiney turns

crazymumma said...

I TOTALLY struggle with taking myself seriously. I mean really who am I kidding? Who are you kidding?

Hell, we are not kidding anyone. You have something to say and you say it well so hellzya, take yourself seriously.

sorry, I make little sense. puppy you know....tired....

I always loved how Churchill could turn a phrase.

Annie King said...

I enjoyed reading the quotes and your reflections about them. You have a creative way with words and the writer's gift.