December 8, 2011
What it is
I still haven’t read the manuscript I wrote in November. I’ve been too busy. Or not too busy, but too scattered; I haven’t had four hours to just sit and read it all at once and figure out what it is. And now that I do have the time, it is imperative that I first write a blog post immediately right now! What! Blogging is writing! I’m inspired! You should always take advantage of it when you’re inspired to write.
I’m not anxious about reading the manuscript. I’ve been waiting for the right circumstances.
Unrelated: I just noticed that, in tonight’s picture, one half of my face looks about ten years younger than the other, droopier half. It also looks like I’ve swallowed the wishbone of a giant turkey, and it’s just hanging out in my neck waiting to be snapped in half by the warring sides of my face. But I’ve started using something new on my hair; I think it’s really working. It’s like 60 percent formaldehyde.
When I printed the whole stack of pages out, I tried very hard not to look at it, opening each day’s document and hitting “print” while turning away from the screen. When the entire thing was printed, I put it face down on my desk, where it sits now, collecting various cat hairs. I haven’t want to form any opinions about it, or hike any hopes, or spoiler myself in any way before the full reading. I feel like I need to be as dispassionate as possible about it.
Because I have no idea what it reads like*, but I know what it felt like to write it, and it felt fucking awful. I couldn’t even delve into a lot of the material; I just put down details, fragments of dialogue, reminders of things to write later. Some of it was material I was conscious of having written about before, but in the past I’d always written it as a bunch of stories; well-worn anecdotes I could dine out on and impress people with. This is not that. This isn’t the Look What I’ve Overcome story, the Look What the Mean People Did to Me story, the It Was So Totally Hellish But Hey I Learned A Lot of Important Lessons From It story. This is not “wry” or “knowing” or “witty;” it’s not ”edgy” or “transgressive.” I don’t know what it is.
Which is an excellent argument for reading it, right? BUT. It’s been a few days since I’ve written in my notebook, and I really should catch up there, you know? In fact, I may have figured out another strategy to breaking through writer’s block, which is to make all the alternatives to writing even worse than writing itself, so that writing becomes the easier thing to do.
I will let you know how that goes.
(*I’m not exaggerating, it’s part of the joy of the Nanowrimo thing to write without rereading, so by the time I hit day 10 I didn’t know what I’d done in days 1 through 9. Also, my short term memory is horri…wait, what were we just talking about?…oh yeah, ble.)