I don’t know what it is, but I can’t get my brain wrapped around writing again this month. I think I wore myself out writing 3 books in less than a year. (Last one comes out mid week next week –Imagining the World into Existence.) I told myself when I had a down week I was going to get back to my novel, abandoned a couple of years ago to:
a) Write the aforementioned 3;
b. Get PenHouse Retreat Center going, and the really dreaded
c.) Research and rethink the book.
It’s not a. or b. that have stymied me. It’s that research and rethinking. I found when I stopped I was reconsidering the use of the first person point of view. Wound up reading a few books that used point of view in ways that made me think third person was the way to go, including Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry. Brilliant book! But then a teaching gig came along at Berea and so I did that for a term—and didn’t write a thing other than comments on papers. And then there were the workshops I offered, the publicity for the new book. My publishers like it; I do it, but…
Well, there’s the being a writer part and there’s the selling the books and making a living part. I think I like the being a writer part best. Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost that woman, though. Like Gloria Steinem said: “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” Amen, sister. Afghan women will risk death to write poetry. (Fabulous article, by the way. Read it here. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/magazine/why-afghan-women-risk-death-to-write-poetry.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all)
I am just making my own small, but certainly public statement here. It’s time. I’ve taken 2 years off from this novel and now I need to either finish it or bury it. So as of now—now being the moment I post this– I am pulling the novel off the shelf and beginning to read it again. Just making notes on a legal pad to start. Here’s what I’d like you to do. Pinch me. Poke me. Hug me. Ask me how it’s going. Thanks. I’ll gladly do the same for your.