29 January 2014

0 the follies


S and i have this new thing where i'm calling him before going to bed and he's calling me when i wake up. this is possible because he keeps crazy hours. how there's anything to talk about in the latter conversation, i'm not entirely sure as all i've done is sleep. the result, however, is that my sleeping process is now book-ended with a therapy session and a creative brainstorming session, which is- given how much i've managed to accomplish this week- a quite conducive way to work.

things that are true: i've been writing long enough that you'd think i'd have a better understanding of my writing process. that i'd know what works and what doesn't and how i work. alas, no.

is this the curse of writers? that we think we know ourselves so well, we're endlessly fascinated by the workings of how our work works, and yet it possesses unfathomable mysteries that will, periodically, surface to astound us and convince us we barely begin to know anything about ourselves?

slowly i'm realizing i can take things best in three day increments. for example, working from sunday to tuesday on one thing, briefly heaving a sigh of relief, only to have something that will consume wednesday to friday abruptly fall in my lap.

an annoyance, yes. and one which required a whiney call to my mother of the 'MUMMY, but no, REALLY, can i REALLY do this? is it all folly??? AM I WASTING MY LIFE?!?!' who, standing in the middle of visiting a friend in the hospital and surrounded by a cacophony that sounded like a garden party, patiently said- perhaps knowing my way of working better than i know it myself- 'just give it your all for a day and see where you are.'

wise words. and ones i need to remember. because somehow things never seem so difficult once you're actually in the process of doing them. once the gears are going and the pen is in your hand and the words are appearing on the page. it's in the agony of gearing up, the summoning of the nerve, that it's so easy to lose courage, to throw up your hands and say 'that's not for me', because it's easier to walk away than to try.

this is maybe why three day increments are appealing. you can bear anything for three days. and three days don't seem like such a great deal to have lost if it doesn't pan out, if the work leads nowhere, if it is, in fact, folly, at least you kept the muscle active, the gears moving. at least an act of courage was completed even if the work wasn't.

i used to have a little policy of 'love, not fear.' remember that? it's been awhile, but it holds up, i find, in most things. in writing perhaps most of all.

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