Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm brilliant.

Okay. Where to begin?

I have been trying so hard. Do I feel a low because nothing has changed? Is it the lull before the storm? Remember there always the low before the big creative rush. I have been bored with myself. What happens next? One word comes and then the next. I know I am close. My novel is brilliant at least in the visionary sense. But I have to mold it using words and form it into something that already exists in my head. And I’m so impatient. And I am not sure that I can do it.

What is the difference between pushing yourself just enough or pushing yourself way too much?

When I started writing practice I was a writer who didn’t write anything. I had this disease where I would start working and immediately get bored. The trick with writing practice is to write through all the discomfort. I started to sit down and write through the garbage. I gave myself a quota of so many pages. And just as in a sitting meditation I would notice the discomfort and keep going. Now there is comfort in writing. The writing reinforces itself, saves me from bad habits, gives me a course of action instead. More often than not I can discover the root of the discomfort if I write about it. I used to be at the mercy of my unfathomable moods.

After writing through the boredom for long enough, something else happens. I get tired. All of a sudden I am so tired, I can't keep my eyes open. Later I would be taken over by pangs of anxiety. All manifestations of my mind to get me to quit.

I ask: Why did my mind want me to stop so badly?

I decide: It is the baggage beneath it all. Ideas about writing and being a writer.

I lull myself with the questions: What kind of work is valuable anyway? In what way does this work contribute to my household? Who wants to read what I have to say anyway? Just further manifestations of the same mirage.

And so it’s been more than two years. How has my life changed?

I write all the time. The words come fleetly (most of the time). And the words have formed themselves into a book. The words prime the pump and more and more come. My thinking is clearer. I am generally more productive. I don’t have as many hazy worthless days. I enjoy the writing.

Today when I sat down, I was bored. You could watch the feeling come. Hints in the writing here and there. Worry about the boredom of others. Impatience. Time to make it good. Wanting it to tell the work what it wants. Like the hand of god coming down to set me straight.

Time for good enough writing. Time for me and the imaginary people that reside there. And perhaps time for the rest of my life too.

How come I have to remind myself over and over again?

As Always,

Writing Exercise:
Write, but don’t get anything done today. Write for its own sake.

Take a page, two pages, three perhaps and write to yourself about how brilliant you are. Lie to yourself if you don't yet believe it.