Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Talk Is Cheap

My good friend Darren, a fine and many times published poet gives this advice: "Save it for the page."

My good friend Slash, a storyteller, performer, comedian and writer advises against revealing your ideas before you have actually executed them.

Sound advice, yes. Practical, wise. Advice I am guilty of betraying on a daily basis.

The other day I was at a gathering of creatives who were discussing the difference between extroverted and introverted artists. It seems clear to me that the introverted artist has the advantage. As far as actually producing ANYTHING worth a goddamn.

That is why I am considering pursuing a line of work in Talking rather than Writing.

Please, let's discuss this idea until it is a bloody pulp. Let's hash it out and grind it into the seventh layer of Hell. Let's meet at the coffee shop to talk about it until there's nothing left.

Another friend- a screenwriter and freelance writer working on her first novel-has a fantasy in which she becomes a dental hygienist who wears Victoria Sweatshirts with lots of bling. I share this fantasy with her. It is so lovely, so alluring, so...easy. So impossible.

How nice it would be to go to bed each night without the nagging, ripping feeling that there is still work to be done. Deep, hard, intense creative work. That won't let me rest until it's over and out and framed and complete. A tangled, gnarled web of thoughts and ideas that have to be expressed in just the right way. The write way. The write, elusive way that requires time and space. Not answering the phone or the door. Keeping my body pinned to the chair, my pen to the page, one lip sealed against the other.

Unfortunately, so far, I have not been to keep my own secrets. To shut it down. To quiet myself. For more than a few hours at a time, anyway. That's why I like to write short short stories. Daisy Duke stories. One page per week. One sentence per day. It's tough though, when I get a book idea. Especially a few book ideas. Ideas that sound fantastic. To talk about. To outline. To graph. Honestly, right now I have some really great chapter titles. Outstanding. Pithy. But they are lonely without their chapters. Naked. And as hard and as I try to drown them out, I can't make them shut up.