If it is so damn hard, why write?
Writers have to answer that question or go crazy.
In reality, we could just forget about writing stories, novels, poetry. Chances are we won’t make a nickel, nobody else cares, and we will not be rich and famous. So why torture ourselves?
What is your answer?
Mine is sex. Well, not exactly sex but something very like sex. All of my creations follow a pattern. I begin tracking some intriguing image or rhythm or phrase, and it is like being seduced. Soon, I am blinded by love--pure romance and sex—and I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I set down my pen, go to the bank, cook supper, teach a class, but part of me stays with the lover. I dream, obsess, and drive unsafely until I can get back to it.
The yogis say Kundalini Shakti (the creative, generative force of the universe) and sexual energy are the same. Both are lodged at the base of the spine and create in us the urge to merge.
I like that phrase--the urge to merge. So, we write as a way to get off, to fall in love, to be consumed and consummated. We write to raise our level of consciousness, to reach upward, to swirl and stir ordinary consciousness. Think whirlpools, tornados, volcanoes, natural forces with great power. Think wet.
And when the last page is filled, I set the pen down and then it is as if my lover has left me for another.
Every time I swim into a new book, I know that when the tide goes out I’ll look at my creation and hate it. I hate all my books. I think they are stupid, and poorly written and, most certainly, not good enough. Fortunately, I’ve developed enough first readers to read my drafts—and they sometimes disagree.
This pattern, unfortunately, is the bipolar reality of any who touch the face of the creative. Over several decades of writing, I’m learning not to trust either state—the first bloom of sexy romance or the crash that follows. Perhaps the crash comes to help me separate from what I have created just as a mother must eventually separate from her children—so what I have created can walk off and stand on its own—or not. It is the natural swing of creation.
I love you. I hate you. Let’s talk.
If you have actually read this rant, leave me a comment.