What I think sometimes it is important to remember is that sometimes writing is hard. It is a billion mile wall in all directions and all you have is a chisel and a hammer. Some days, only a spoon. Tink. Tink. Tink. All you can do is hammer away, hoping, like a prisoner in Alcatraz, that maybe, after ages and hours, you'll see the sun shining through. You keep hoping, keep praying that with each strike, maybe you'll hit the keystone and the whole thing will come tumbling down and you'll be able to go running through a field of prose in full flower.
But mostly, it is hard.
You can't leave, though. If you walk away in the middle, you'll just be going to another wall that is just as thick and strong. You have the same tools as you were attacking that last one with. Tink. Tink. Tink.
It feels like you're reinventing art. The moderns tried to express happiness without painting a smile. Sure, you can say, "She was happy", but that still leaves you with 69,997 words left to go. How do you describe "happy" without the word "happy"? How do you make a stroke which will convey emotion without painting the representation of someone experiencing that feeling? What comes next? What comes next? What comes after that? And next?
But still you chip away, because one day the wall does fall. And when it does, you hear that you get to attack the next wall with a jackhammer instead of a spork. With your luck, though, it will be made of mashed potatoes.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Today, I decided I needed to go to a coffee shop to write. Why?
I think the question is Why Not?
It’s what all the cool writers do. They write. In coffee shops. And I, I have decided, shall be cool.
I also needed some tough love to turn off the Netflix. Holy smokes! Do you have any idea how many shows they have? A lot. They have a lot of shows and I can watch them all in my bed with my family sized bag of Doritos from Costco with no one around to give me disapproving stares or wonder how I smuggled it past the ticket takers in the lobby. A word of advice? No one will ask you if you’re really pregnant. Unless you’re a dude. In which case, tell them you have a belly goiter.
About a half hour in and my second bowl of coffee, I suddenly REALLY looked around the coffee shop. It had crystal chandeliers and black upholstered wing back chairs and they got some artist to come in and write the menu on a 20x30 foot blackboard wall with hand lettering that would make Platt Rogers Spenser cry. There were handmade pastries with crystallized sugar and rustic bread made with the tears of a widowed farm woman. And sitting at all the marble topped tables with their iron work legs?
A row of us asshole writers who looked like we had rolled out of bed and decided pajamas were good enough.
What a wonderful world we live in that I can eat a scone beneath an $800 chandelier on a Monday morning. Next week, I’ll brush my hair. Maybe.