Monday, August 31, 2009

Writing and the "Real World"

You know, we writers love to complain. We love to complain how our jobs get in the way of our writing, how life gets in the way of our writing, and how our writing gets in the way of our writing.

Yeah, that last one. You ever get an idea, and that idea starts you writing, and that writing brings forth ideas that require whole new stories and whole new plot lines and whole new ...

Not that I'm talking from experience, or anything like that. But let's just say that my flagship story ("My Sister Rosalie") has gone from a one-shot to a three volume novel with three side stories of the first volume ("Rose by a Lemon Tree," "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," and (unpublished) "The Hurt Chair"). And the funny thing is the following: "My Sister Rosalie" was just an aside of my "main" idea about Lilly and Lucas in high school ... that I haven't gotten around to starting.

Ugh, I'm living a cliché: I'm a writer of a three-volume novel, just like Miss Prism in "The Importance of Being Earnest." I even write earnestly, for goodness sake!

As the French say: le Sigh!

But that pesky real world: where would we be without it? Isn't it amazing how life imitates art? For example, I write a chapter about Bella and (not-)blueberries ("Just Say It"), and come to find my cara spoza can't stand them in her oatmeal. Go figure!

Or, I write about economy and the Great Depression ("With the Depression On") and that recalls to me what my own grandfather went through during those troubled times.

Or, my meditations on what a vampire is (want), and isn't (angelic will), in an unpublished fragment that will, thankfully, never see the light of day, lead me to ruminations about, of all things, DDR.

I mean, seriously! The "real world" shows up all over the place, even in introductory snide side comments from our much put-upon vampire about gratitude.

So, writers, the next time you complain about the real world getting in the way of your writing, don't. Benjamin Franklin reminds us that he who does not have enough is silent, and he who has enough, complains (or: "It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man." This is Big Ben's reminder to me to stop complaining about writing and just get to the actual work of writing). After all, you have been given a gift. Who writes? Nearly nobody in the world writes, ... but you do. And, sometimes, even, your writing saves somebody from despair, or maybe even inspires somebody else to write. Only you can sing your song.

Sing it.

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