>Promises Made, Promises Broken
October 19, 2006 § 8 Comments
>I promised myself I would read two hours of Cheever (and maybe finish him off) before internetting, but then, when have I ever followed though completely? Why be inconsistent now?
I feel like that emotional ESP us bloggers were having recently is back, but now it’s related to having no time and tons to do and say. I’ve spent the past two days absorbed in my writing and I think I’m starting to notice some patterns I have when it comes to revision. I’m all about starting with a morsel, expanding to a point where I’m worried my stories are going to become novels, then contracting back to something close to the essence of the work.
My dreams have been vivid, which might be because I’ve had dairy (pizza) for the past couple of days. Usually I don’t eat dairy. It’s the only changed variable in my routine.
As I mentioned to a friend recently, I feel like moving to New York is asking to get a flogging. I mean, the west coast is such a leisurely life in so many ways. SF was about being coddled until I couldn’t take it any more. The midwest was a year of living at a resort, where my obligations were few and the pressure of life was limited. But New York. New York is all about enjoying a good beating. I’m looking forward to it. (Not being sarcastic.)
I’ve started to think a lot about why I write. At first, I believed it had to do with my need to have a voice that’s my own in a world where there are so many voices. There’s something very colonizing about that. If I can have my say, then I’m alive. But then I started to think that the reason I write is because it’s much more gratifying than living. I’m not very good at being a person. I can fake it, but really, I don’t know how to do the things that people do. Or I feel awkward doing them. I’ve always felt like I’m on the outside, watching things happen but never being fully a part of them. But when I write, I have my own world that I’m fully included in and I have control over my characters (to some extent). It’s not that I always want to be in their world. It allows me to feel that all of my time spent observing the world around me without ever feeling like I’m completely in it is relevant and helpful in this one thing I do. I give myself permission to feel less troubled by my inability to fully be in the world because there’s another area of my life where I benefit from being on the outside.
Here’s a favorite Cheever quote before heading off to bathe with my book… “Fifty percent of the people in the world are homesick all the time…. You don’t really long for another country. You long for something in yourself that you don’t have, or haven’t been able to find.”