Thursday, March 04, 2010
Jacob And The Angel
Been writing a lot lately which makes the rest of life fall away in certain regards. David Foster Wallace wrote an excellent essay on this problem -- "The Nature of the Fun." When you are in the finishing stages of a project, you tend to let go of the reins of control. Dishes don't get done, clothes tend to be, well, butt ugly (note Michael Douglas' writing outfit in Wonderboys), phone calls are unreturned. After the whole catastrophe is put to bed (as much as anything can be put to bed as far as writing is concerned), you spend your time trying to make Humpty Dumpty fit back together again.
I'm not a natural writer. Like most people, I face all the usual resistances. Resistance is a tricky little demon that reappears in different forms all the time. Mine usually takes the form of this particular incantation -- you'll write better when . . . fill in the blank. When you've worked out, when you're not so tired, when you have everything in order, when you have flossed your teeth. I hate this motherfucking demon because it's so insidious, it sounds so reasonable. The way to work around it for me is to demand a certain page count. Weirdly, after I do my pages, those pressing demon demands don't seem at all attractive. I don't have any energy for them at all, really. The demon, defeated on a basic level for the day says, Well, since you're too tired to do anything else, you might as well write. At least you're sitting. Damn, that demon is clever! The next day is all about the same half-nelson. You wrestle with the angel and if you're as smart as Jacob, you demand something from that angel, a mark that says what you did and that it wasn't in vain.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach." — Mother Angelica
Drinking documentary suggestion: Small Town, Gay Bar
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday! Thanks to all for being so patient while I pull myself out of torpor and respond to all emails, requests, etc. in the next two days. Also, I shall be wearing the new ring -- camera should be fixed in a couple of days.