when i decided to start this friday writing post last week, i had all these ideas about the things i'd write about, but i've been sitting here staring at my blinking cursor for the last hour or so.
it's been a bad night. the truth is that it's been a rough few months and i've been flailing a tremendous amount. and i suppose i could continue sitting here, trying to force out thoughts or words, but none of it would be very sincere at the moment, and i have no desire to be inauthentic here.
so, for this week, i must apologize and leave you with a few quotes i loved from hilary mantel's art of fiction interview in the new issue of the paris review. i will plan better for next week, so please don't give up on this yet!
you have no right to assume that you'll be able to write because you could write yesterday on the other hand, when there are dark times, you can say, i've faced this before. you learn that you will always have to mark time, that you shouldn't rush, that if you wait, the book will come to you. but you only build up this knowledge through long experience. your daily work is very much about the line, the paragraph. it's not about the grand design of your career. (59)
among writers themselves, the question is not who influences you, but which writers give you courage. (62)
sometimes there just isn't a tudor word for what you want, and then you have to think hard -- if no word, could they have had the thought? boredom, for example, that doesn't seem right. were they never bored? but tedium, they know. and somehow ennui seems fine. sometimes words play tricks, change their meaning. let doesn't mean "allow," it means "forbid." they call a doll a "baby," often as not. they call a clever man "witty." it doesn't mean he makes jokes. so you can't be slavishly literal. you can try to be authentic. (68)
and here's one from lydia davis' interview from the same issue:
just because a story uses material from the writer's life, i don't think you can say that it's her life, or that the narrator is her. as soon as you select the material from your life, and arrange it and write it in a stylized manner, it's no longer really identical to that life and that person. (171)
have a great weekend!