Monday, October 17, 2016


"Writing is wonderful when you talk about it. It's fun to contemplate. But writing as a daily physical activity is not agreeable. You put on weight, you strain your gut, you get gout and chilblains. You're alone, and every day you have to face a blank piece of paper."
-Norman Mailer, The Spooky Art

I love this quote. There are so many things that fall in this category. Growing up, I loved the idea of classical music and mastering a difficult piece and performing. Oh, but I hated practicing daily. For so many years, blogging also had that same sheen. On occasion, I'd have that perfectly formed idea, pre-packaged and ready for delivery. But most of the time, it was sitting down to an empty screen and forcing myself to write. Now, I'm taking a class on poetry writing, and it's the same thing all over again. Sitting around a table with other hopeful writers drinking tea and reading blank verse is really fun. There's a lot to explore, wonder, learn, and imitate. But then you go home and you sit with idle pen and blank slate. It becomes a narrative of captivity (rather than a captivating narrative) (a quote from a long-time friend of mine, Revati). The daily exercise of writing is a lonesome and individual activity, intimidating, grueling, and challenging. But it is also necessary to get better, to capture those fleeting moments of illumination, and to become more than a dilettante. In part, this is why I am simplifying my life and obligations, to focus on passions I would like to cultivate, and I think I want to give writing a go.

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