By Spiritual I mean intuitive, human, vision, voice,
psychology, psychic, empathy, insight, wisdom, love,
and so on.
By Update I mean the growth that an individual undergoes
every day. The man I am yesterday is not the man I am
today. I see more, slightly yes, but when I look into
the work today I see things I didn’t see yesterday,
some things are clear and simple suddenly, what to
put in, what to take out.
By Unformed Parts I mean those scenes or chapters where
you know what you want in general and have written some
of it down, but the whole is not clear, neither are
the specifics, the thing is blurry, you’re on the surface.
The layers are thin and watery, it hasn’t gelled, etc.
By Story I mean story, novel, etc.
So the main idea is that these unformed parts I see
as a "problem." But they are no more a problem than
a patch of weedy ground I'm looking at from above
and beginning to imagine a garden, vegetable, zen,
cactus, rose garden, but I haven’t entered it yet,
I’m looking still from above, from outside.
Spiritual is to enter, to swim within, to be
the pure animal that belongs in that ecology.
Brer Rabbit in the briar patch.
When I think of these unformed parts I subconsciously,
or habitually is probably a better word, I habitually
shy away from them, put them off, fear them slightly,
just enough, suspect that I won’t be able to grow them
as I have grown such unformed parts hundreds and hundreds
of times before. But the old mind kicks in, the old
mind whose job it is to doubt.
But I don’t want to overcome the doubt, waste time
and energy wrestling it, battling, nor do I want
to build false confidence, unnecessary confidence
that becomes itself a burden, a weight.
I want neither doubt nor confidence. I want the middle
ground, the broad highway of many choices and opportunities,
where the fitting path for this particular unformed scene,
or conversation, in the case of the particular thing I
happen to be thinking of, is laid out.
A conversation between two realms, as a matter of fact.
Characters from two realms, and it is outlandish, between
a man and the ghost of a woman, and so that causes me
to doubt and want to rely on my confidence to blot out
the doubt, but to do so is to doubt the story, the
characters, this bridge or plain or crossing in the story
that these two have been led to by all that has come
I want to be free even of confidence in joining with
the story to bring forth this scene, this conversation
between unlikelys. Confidence is the flipside to doubt,
it cannot be relied upon to find the truth any more than
doubt can be relied upon to find lies.
So I’m thinking, fearing, that I can’t do it. But I know
I can and will. But I want to learn something now about
that state, not write the scene, although this will free
me up anyway to do so.
The reason that I feel, fear, that I won’t be able to do
it is because I cannot do it. Not at once anyway. Not in
one day, no matter if I worked 16 hours on it. This is me.
Because it requires spiritual growth, and spiritual growth
happens from day to day, slowly and surely, often upon waking,
from sleep, from dreams, when they are rich and effective.
That's the most important part of writing—-the spiritual growth
that happens in the writing of a story, the spiritual waking
that's clarified and expressed in the writing.
This is evident when, on waking, I look upon a scene, or
paragraph, sentence, line of dialogue, piece of story
I'd looked on many times before, but now it is clear
and simple and undeniable how it is supposed to be,
what is supposed to be put in and what needs to be taken
out. The change from day to day, from going to sleep and
waking up, is subtle, but it is there, and cumulative, a
gathering meant to be spent.
We grow day by day, and writing is the way to see this.
No, I cannot write this important conversation today,
perhaps, but it is being written anyway, by the many selves
that approach it day by day, understanding more myself,
the characters, the work, the ecology of the scene, and
this is the effortless way, because I know it is meant to be
effortless, at its best, writing, at its sweetest, at its most
So the conversation will come, but layer by layer, and
patch by patch, line by line, connection by tightening by
loosening, and so on.
Writing is the way to grow, and growing is the way to write.
Forgive me if this is obvious or vague or mad.
I’m writing it to be a more free writer, enjoy writing
more, in new ways, and may it help others do the same.