Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Writing is not

Writing -- for me -- isn't just the early-morning coffee and dark windows; it isn't just edits made and unmade and made again, all on the same sentence or the same word; it isn't just the shock of finding a repeated word. It's not just the words on the page or the shape of the paragraphs or the flow of ink through the pen; not just the resarch or chat boards about agents or even daydreaming through a bookstore.

It's work. It's hard work that makes me think about the things in my life that hurt, and the things that are so beautiful my eyes water just remembering them, and my own frustration at how little of that comes through on the page. It's discipline. Difficult? Too bad.

There are so many cowardly books out there; stories that mince up to the brink of something meaningful and then shy away like a sheep.

I want to gallop to the edge and then take flight. Like, uh, Thelma and Louise? That can't be right.

So much in the daily world is faltering and unambitious and flat. A story should address that, not mirror it.

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