Friday, October 21, 2011

I Don’t Know

I don’t know if I’m supposed to spend my days in pursuit of my manuscript or my happiness.

I don’t know if my friend’s professor who warned “beware of getting too happy; you’ll never finish your book,” was right or wrong but I know as the mouse I’m hard wired to search out the cheese and to bite and to chew and to search out the cheese again- even if it’s secured in the steel jaws of a trap.

I don’t know if the words I have to say are louder than the voice I have to say them with.

I don’t know which currency I hold.

I don’t know if I can exchange the credit of my writing for the cold hard cash of the spoken word, contracts, whispers, demands.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to spend so much time thinking about tense, point of view, perspective, if I’m allowed to love even the things that I'm sure to edit out.

I don’t know if I should jump off cliffs just to write cliffhangers. I don’t know if I should make major life decisions based on their affect on the arc of my story. I don’t know if I should create stories based on their influence on the arc of my life.

I don’t know if I need someone to fatten me up or to pare me down, to say “eat this child, eat that,” or if I need to lay my cabinets bare, pitching the curd, the chaff, the spoilt, the stale, the last crumbs that I’ve been holding onto, like a hoarder of scraps and words, made fat by leftovers.

I don’t know if I can make linear progress with chapter titles and word counts and page numbers and outlines or if one day the sum total of my jumbled contents will assemble themselves neatly onto the page, like a tidy house that I could actually move into and live.

I don’t know if I can exchange my internal editor for someone’s else’s, a kinder, gentler, slightly more organized, totally balanced internal editor, the way some people borrow each other’s Gods, just to get through.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to know or if it's to ask, to let it unfold, whether answers ever come or just a new line of questions.

1 comment:

  1. search for happiness if it makes you happy
    but don't worry you'll find it
    it's not something you find

    don't fire your internal editor
    she sounds evil enough, but take it from a reader - she's good, and plenty aren't

    as for borrowing gods

    Jon Snow brought his fathers' gods with him
    to a place where they weren't welcome
    no one thanked him for it, but he survived longer than most

    up here in the cold
    we sleep on old beds, under torn blankets full of bugs
    winter is coming