Wednesday, February 6, 2008

feeling blue, seeing stars

I usually don't get angry. I usually don't get mad. I usually stuff those feelings. But the last couple of days, I have been feeling anger. 

Angry as hell.  Then it went to numbness. Lethargy. 

It's like this quote by Emily Dickenson

"This is the hour of lead,
Remembered, if outlived,
As freezing persons recall the snow,
First chill, then stupor, then letting go".

I am confused about the whole blogging thing. I have spent hours, no days reading other blogs. Some are good, a few of the great, and a couple blew me away and left a hole in my heart as if I could write as good as they can, and am I wasting my time. 

My ex use to tell people I was a better writer than he was. I don't know if that is true,  i suspect it is, but he had the discipline which I am lacking to write. I feel comparing me to him is like comparing Kilgore Trout to Vonnegut.

Maybe that is true. I do know I am a mercurial writer. If I am not inspired by the Muse, I cannot write that day. Hubby plodded every day. I was never a plodder. 

My first Creative Writing professor told me the same thing. He had a room mate in college who wrote every day several hours a day, plodding along. He had 10 novels published. They were forgettable, the male equivalent of Chick Lit. My professor on the other hand, was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. His prose jumped off the page, his poetry left me weak in the knees. Because of my schoolgirl crush o him, every guy but one I have ever dated has been a writer. 

I feel like all the joy has gone out of my life, and I am just breathing air but not making  oxygen, and turning into carbon diaoxide, like trees do. 

I understand Hemingway felt the same way. I've heard from several sources, including living ones, that when he read Faulkner's  "Sound and Fury", he threw the book against a wall and never spoke to Faulkner again. He did the same with Steinbeck. He never did it with Fitzgerald, instead makijng a comment when he read "Tender is the Night". Well, Fitz finally wrote something readable. 
(I personally think The Crack Up is Fitz's magnum opus).

I also have heard a first hand account he was personally happy that Fitz hated working in Hollywood writing screenplays with Christopher Isherwood. 

Is this irrational behavior part of bipolar? Or is it me hitting a brick wall?

The only thing I have wanted as an adult was to get a PhD and teach. That isn't going to happen. Next dream. Wife and mother. That isn't going to happen either. Stick a fork in me, I am done. 

What is left. To be a writer. To write the Great American Novel.

I am bone dry. I cannot seem to do it. I am a hack. Not a writer. 

The weird thing is, maybe I am and I don't see it. I once played a game with hubby. It went like this:

If you can write a book and have it published in your lifetime, but 10 years after you are gone the nook is no longer in print, or write something so good but it doesn't sell in your lifetime but lives on for decades, if not centuries after you are gone, and they even make Cliff Notes of it, would your rather have the first or the later?

Hubby chose the first. I went to the second every time. Let me be like John Kennedy O'Toole. Let me be like Van Gogh.

If I cannot carry my DNA to the next generation, then maybe I can do it with my prose. 

I just don't think I am good at it anymore. 

maybe, or maybe I just hit a wall and it's been so long I don't remember what it is like. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow you're pretty amazing. I'd like to start blogging to but I have never had the "plodder" mentality either. I really hope you succeed in your goals.

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