Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another take on the 'loneliness topic'

I'm thinking more about what I put on my last post and I think part of what I said could use a follow up. Specifically, this part:

You can't take people along for the ride when you're writing or painting or making a song. You can't show them the hours upon hours you spent on a project no one will ever see. You can't show them the myriad of failed projects that, in their own way, pave the way to successes later in life. In fact, if readers do see all your labor, all your pain, and all your doubts on the page, then you probably did something wrong. More and more, it seems to me that art is about pushing yourself beyond any reasonable limit to make something practically useless that might make you money, but will probably just make you crazy. And yet, more and more I realize it could be no other way.

I like that. I stand by it. To me, that's what the process is like right now. But I think I've cast more gloom over the whole thing than really I feel about it. I like being alone. I like those moments when I get home and realize I have two hours to myself to do whatever I want (which means 90 minutes of video games and 30 minutes of writing). If you don't like the idea of being lonely or receiving feedback on your work more than once a year, then I don't think writing stories is for you. Again, that's based on what I'm feeling right now in my rawest of raw states. I've read lots of book on the topic of writing and many, if not all, have in some way called writing a lonely craft. It is. But that's why loners gravitate toward it. It's like football. I hate getting hurt. Are you kidding me? Do not punch me. Ever. I don't enjoy pain. I can't imagine having two men the size of grown lions crashing into me at the same time with only some thin pads to absorb the blow. Yet plenty of guys do it very well and are compensated finely for it. Sure, you know about the pain they feel to get where they are, but we don't feel it. We don't connect with that particular sensation. I suspect on some level an athlete welcomes the pain, at least on the playing field. It's likely an invigorating sensation when it doesn't physically hinder an athlete. They've grown up with bumps and bruises. I didn't. I grew up quasi-alone and have since gravitated toward that. Next time you hear some artist or scholar or writer complain about all the lonely hours, just remember that secretly they (and I) love this shit as much as a wide receiver loves taking a hit to make a touchdown catch.

And the beats carries on with this new story. I'm starting to feel a bit 'in the zone'. We're out of the beginning and plunging in the middle of this story, and things are only getting easier. The plot is only moving faster. Editing shall begin this weekend on one work, but hopefully I'll have something else on the stack before the month of March arrives. Depends on how much alone time I can get.

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