I just got hit with a story idea. Right between the eyes. It feels a lot like a headache, but it’s a story idea. – My response to my roommate’s question about what I was working on.
My life has suddenly ceased being a linear plot from beginning to end. Subplots twist out like tendrils, leading down confusing rabbit trails and threatening to plunge me into inescapable plot holes. This is exhausting.
For a few minutes we are each a plot twist in a total stranger’s story . . .
I have the word “WRITER” emblazoned on my laptop’s background. Whenever I feel tempted to revel in self-pity, it acts like my drill sergeant:
Get your face out of the dust. You’re a writer. You take this shit you’re dealing with and you make it into something every literature professor fifty years from now is going to want on their required reading list. No excuses. Did Virginia Woolf make excuses? Did J.D. Salinger make excuses? Sit down at that keyboard and make those negative emotions into beautiful, aching words or go find another profession because if you can’t do that you sure as hell aren’t a real writer.
It is amazing how everyone I know seems to think the only way they can connect with me is through speaking about writing. If I am lonely, they will tell me to use the opportunity to write and everything will be better. If I am doubting my self-worth, I am treated to speeches about how good of a writer I will one day be. It has really become my image – and perhaps this is not an entirely good thing.
Never trust anyone in a cafe corner with a notepad and pen . . .
I am in a Starbucks, warm accent lighting pooling around me. The music is pleasant, but not loud enough to be distracting. I have a pile of newly checked-out library books on an arcane and thoroughly enthralling subject, coffee and a piece of sweetbread, and the rest of the night. I am a happy woman.
Life doesn’t imitate art. Life imitates bad TV – Woody Allen
Never were truer words spoken. This is why good fiction is often nothing like real life.
Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. – Issac Asimov
The problems arise when one starts thinking with her fingers better than she does with her brain . . .
My everyday life seems to be full of cliched metaphors and cheesy Hollywood coincidences that I would instantly censor as “unrealistic” in a work of fiction.