Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Writer's Life

A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it to be God. Sidney Sheldon said that. And of all the quotes about writing I've ever read nothing was ever truer. Face to face with a blank piece of paper- or a blank computer screen, blinking cursor mocking me with its "you have nothing to say" taunt, a fleeting, albeit terrifying, feeling of helplessness overcomes me.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. -Red Smith

Creating is hard. Harder than anything else in this world. Writers know it. Sculptors know it. Mothers know it. You nurture this thing that pours out of you in the hopes that the universe will embrace it and love it as you do, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the universe spits on your baby, stomps it to the ground and slashes at it with that proverbial red pen. And it can feel like your innards are being ripped out through your throat, leaving you with no other option but to cower in a corner and cry.

Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter. -Jessamyn West

But you can't cower forever. It is hard being god. Look at all the shyt I give doctors for having god complexes, and they actually have the ability to bring people back from the dead (at least on ER they do...). But if god had cowered in a corner crying because man didn't turn out the way he/she wanted him to turn out, where would we be...or maybe god is cowering in a corner and that's why we're fucked for thought.

I'm getting off topic again, dammit...

A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public eye with his pants down. -Edna St. Vincent Millay

My point is we have to push on, forward. We HAVE to. There is no choice. No turning back. "No second chance, blanc." All we can do is our best. If, at the end of the day we know we gave 110% of our very soul for our creation, our babies, our stories, our pictures, our paintings, our songs- it will be enough. Even if no one understands what you've made (Yoko...I'm looking at you, honey...). Even if Michiko Kakutani pans your novel in the New York Times, even if you don't get that grant, even if your song debuts as #300 on the Billboard charts, even if your kid ends up a heroin addict OD-ing on Avenue B, if you gave it your all and then some, it's all you can do.

What more can you possibly do?

This is what I have to tell myself to keep going. I HAVE to. This is what I want to leave to my "creator" friends who are at that impasse and question where to go from here. Push forward. You HAVE to. This life you live is the ultimate novel/painting/song you don't even know you're creating, and you won't be there to know how it turns out but TRUST that it will be spectacular!
All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. -George Orwell

*smooches...full of demons, vanity, voices and vices; all the makings of a good writer*
There been times that I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will