you know, i'm still so unsure about this friday post. i've typed out several posts, but i delete them at the last moment, and i've considered just giving up on this friday post altogether or maybe making it a collection of author quotes on writing or ... i don't know. it seemed like a great idea when i first thought of it, but i'm surprisingly finding it incredibly difficult to write, which maybe in itself is a manifestation of some of things about writing that i wanted to post about -- how it requires so much vulnerability and contains so much fear and doubt because that's one reason i end up deleting these posts i start writing -- i find myself questioning the things i write, asking myself, do i really want to put this out there? am i qualified to put this out there?, though how one would be qualified to do so is unclear.
it's been a good writing week, though, and i am so grateful for it. i ended up getting frustrated with a story i'm working on, so i printed it out, cut it up, and played it like a puzzle, rearranging sections and trying out different sequences and filling in the spaces that needed to be added to cushion out the story. i enjoy the tactile demands of writing sometimes because i find that different stories require different things -- sometimes, i need to write longhand or glue a story, one section per page, into a notebook or black out sections in a story with a permanent marker -- and this is one of the ways writing reminds me that it's a living, breathing thing, that it's not just some static, lifeless document, but that it has a sort of life of its own.
which sounds kind of hokey written down like this, i know, but what can i say?
so, anyway, there's that, and here's another author on writing. have a great weekend, all!
the stories that recognize people as they really are -- the books whose characters are at once sympathetic subjects and dubious objects -- are the ones capable of reaching across cultures and generations. this is why we still read kafka. (122-3)
the situation is never static, of course. reading and writing fiction is a form of active social engagement, of conversation and competition. it's a way of being and becoming. somehow, at the right moment, when i'm feeling particularly lost and forlorn, there's always a new friend to be made, an old friend to distance myself from, an old enemy to be forgiven, a new enemy to be identified. (124)
... it's a prejudice of mine that literature cannot be a mere performance: that unless the writer is personally at risk -- unless the book has been, in some way, for the writer, an adventure into the unknown; unless the writer has set himself or herself a personal problem not easily solved; unless the finished book represents the surmounting of some great resistance -- it's not worth reading. or, for the writer, in my opinion, worth writing. (130)
jonathan franzen, farther away, "on autobiographical fiction" (FSG, 2012)