I'm in a fairly good mood artistically speaking. Last night while explaining my rational behind writing "Faker" (my depressing horrotica piece) to lavendersage I suddenly figured out how to start the damn novel that's been practically beating the crap out of me trying to escape my twisted mind. A lot of you might not understand what a big deal this is: "Tourists" (great one word title...woohoo!) has been crawling around my brain for almost 3 years now, almost completely plotted and outlined. All I have to do is WRITE the damn thing.
To write it, I have to START.
I've actually tried to start it at least half a dozen times, each time trying a different voice, perspective, angle, style. I get about a thousand words in and hit more of a wall than a speed bump (an appropriate metaphor considering where most of the first leg of the book takes place), becoming frustrated and chagrined at the fact that I can chalk up nearly 300K words HERE without really trying, but can't get past that first chapter.
Tonight I got to two thousand. A milestone! And this time I'm taking the one piece of core advice that anyone I've known who HAS actually written one of these fershlugginer things has told me: I'm just going to keep going and tell the damn story, and worry about fixing the problems later.
I felt so good about this achievement I turned around and got down the first thousand words of the second piece of Harry Potter slash that popped into my diseased brain a few months back, and only got as far as writing the intro and outline for (Title: "Dobby's Mistake" -- I'll leave the possibilities as an exercise for the reader). Now I'm writing THIS.
He's red hot! He's a fire cracker! He's... egotistical as all get out!
That's from a conversation Audra and I had last night (the same one... the one about "Faker"), that all writers, artists, performers, they ALL, deep down at their core, despite all the possible self-depreciation (I think I used Woody Allen as an example), truly believe themselves to be supremely qualified to produce something that the world wants, nay, NEEDS to consume with their senses. It's a dangerous mental game, oscillating wildly between that ultimate confidence into the pit of self loathing and doubt. Perhaps Allen has the right idea: By putting himself down and laying his neuroses out in the open for all to see, there's no threat of truly cracking.
When I think of my own work I usually lean more toward the psychic slouching of Allen than the vast pronouncements of, say... uh...
Damn, I'm having trouble thinking of a good example. Maybe Ellison? Harlan has always been incredibly boastful of his talent, though it's justifiable in most cases. Last night when I was describing Faker, I suddenly felt this sense of overweening pride, the sudden sureness that I actually knew what the fuck I was doing as I bang away at the keys.
You know, I finally get it. Something that Issac Asimov wrote of in one of the many collections of his work I devoured from the shelves of the Central Islip public library, newly housed in a wonderful "new" building (the date on the building was -- and probably still is -- 1977... when did that become so freaking long ago?) about writers hating writing, and loving have written. I don't hate WRITING, I dis-trust what I produce while writing. Yet when I re-read my own material, it's like someone else snuck in and re-worked what seemed a rough hewn piece of crap high school shop end table (or is it a foot stool? Damn...) into a masterwork of fine furniture, polished to a fine sheen.
I gotta trust that more.