Saturday, January 31, 2015

From the Desk of a Writer Whose Computer is Fried....

A writer writes.  But now I have a box that holds all these stories, but isn't a place from which I can share them.  Currently, I'm waiting for the magicians at Best Buy to give me back the words I put on that machine before it died.  But there's a fear at least in this writer, because writing has to do more than put words on the page.  It has to give the reader a sense of something; beauty, truth, drama, emotional satisfaction, a trip into imagination, something.  

Having spent the past year working on a novel that seems no closer to being finished and yet gets longer, I now have to consider, what to do with it.  What does Penelope promise?  I don't know.  Ergo, I can't finish.   I have to know the answer to finish the book.

How do you promise a something when you don't know what you're doing?  You can't.  

Many a day, I sit down and don't know before I sit down, what will pour out onto the page. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it is poetry, but lately, all the creative waters feel still. That stillness scares me, because I remember how I used to draw all the time. Every notepad had sketches, and even the essay tests were illustrated in the margins. Drawing allowed me to relax, to think,
 and to escape when I didn't want to think or feel. I could just pour everything into the pencil until all of it ran out.
Then one day I sat outside my New York apartment and watched the sunset. Drawing the skyline, halfway through, I felt the end of art in my hand. I stopped drawing because I didn't need to find whatever it was I'd sought in the world of lines and shapes and color, I'd found real people and the two dimensional world available at my fingertips no longer resonated. I put away the pad, and while I've tried from time to time to draw again, everything I put on the paper feels as if it was already said, already done, by a younger and more needy me.
I also play the piano, but quit lessons after high school. The art in my fingers feels the same way as the piano. I have skill, but the same pieces come out, and attempts to learn new ones do not get very far.
So now writing, every day I go to the well, and worry about the day this font runs dry. Will my fingers one day rebel? Will my mind one day announce, you have no new stories to tell, find something else?

That's the fear when you don't have the ending.   

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