Inside of me I feel something eating away. Like I can’t breathe. I’m holding my breath. Only a little air is getting through. I’m staying up late. I feel angry but there’s no one to be mad at! Not drinking much water at all, though I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go.
The last two days I’ve drank two full, large, sweet iced teas with light ice, from McDonald’s. Yesterday’s tea hit the spot. So damn, good. But that’s because it had been awhile. Today, I was just trying to chase that high from yesterday. About to get into a bad habit of craving it everyday or thinking I needed it or telling myself it is a treat for all the hard work I’ve been doing. And it’s bull and maybe that’s why I’m in this mad mood. Maybe it’s chemistry. Maybe the sugar and whatever else they put in that mixture of Sweet Iced Tea has got me all fucked up. Maybe it’s like a drug for me. Veritaserum. Yeh. Truth.
To Tell The Truth , part of me feels sick inside. All the poor choices I am making as far as food goes and staying up late and so on, are really about not being creative. I think about writing every damn day. I have ideas every damn day. I don’t write most days and this is making me feel bad. Making me feel sick. Eating me up inside. I am shriveling up. My outside life is pretty good. My inside life is not.
I’ll never live a good life to me if I don’t write. But see, the problem is I can’t control my writing. I never know how it’s going to go. I don’t know exactly what to write. I want to write fiction but what if I’m truly all about non-fiction. When will I accept that? Will it change someday? Does it mean I have to try writing a story until I can actually write one. I feel afraid. I don’t want to fail at something I want to do so badly. Blah! I don’t know where to put all my commas and periods. I have no idea how to use a semi-colon, even though my English Professor last Spring explained it twice. When I fuck around with a sentence on purpose (the poet in my bleeding through) I wonder will it be read wrong. How does The Reader know when I really fucked up or and how will they know I wrote it that way deliberately to make their mind pause and engage, maybe stumble, and re-read. And does it matter? Do I matter? Does The Reader matter? Does what I am trying to convey matter? Is the trying enough? The words on the paper enough? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I made up my mind to write when I was a kid because I love reading. I loved to read and I thought writers were the smartest most awesomest people in the world. No one better in my kid world. (the close second were actors). I love books. I want to write well enough to make it worth reading. This is a lot to put on writing, which in my twenties I called, “the work”. It’s suffocating. There’s no room for anything except fear and limitation. And all I want is to love and be free and fearless. *note: Free from what? is something I often ask myself. Free from what?
I may never feel good enough as a writer. I will never write the way writers I love write. The writers I love give me something new. They do what I can’t do. I love them because they tell stories that I’d never tell. These stories touch me deeply in a way that nothing else does. I’ll fall in love with a character or characters and sometimes I’ll fall in love with the writing itself but mostly it’s about the story and how I felt about it. How I felt while reading it. If I’m thinking about it years later.
1. Slow River by Nicola Griffith is the book I think about the most. I read it years ago. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago and I’ve only read it once but I think about it often. I want to revisit it. I remember not really liking it but liking some parts of it. It haunts me. It’s worth a revisit. Nicola is one of my favorite writers. Her first novel, Ammonite is in my top 3 of books easy. But Slow River is the one that my mind turns to the most.
2. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. Another book that I’ve only read once that I love and think about it. I’m afraid if I read it again I won’t like it as much. Another book by Winterson that I liked is, Written on The Body. I love the title. I love the mystery of the main character. I love the question that is the heart of the book: Why is the measure of love loss? I remember reading this book back in ’07 and the feeling I had. The experience of reading it. It’s one of the most intense beautiful feelings I’ve ever felt. Here’s the review on Goodreads that I wrote back then.
3. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. This was one I read and immediately started to read it again.
I won’t go on listing books. The point is that I don’t write like these writers I love. I’ll never write like them. I wouldn’t want to. But I can write like me. What I want is to learn the craft, to trust myself, to express myself, to connect with people in this way. This intimate yet removed way. I want to do what writers I love have done for me. Tell the story. They have gifted me with their stories. Their energy. Their time and care. Their realized dreams. Their love…
And that’s a beautiful thing.
I want to be a beautiful thing.