Writing: An affair.

December 26, 2006

I think that writing is like falling in love…you start, a little tentatively, and you have such high hopes and a well of enthusiasm. You only show your best self–no walking around with an oatmeal mask on your face.

For me, starting a piece means staying up, excited…thinking about what I want to convey, the characters, what they look like, how they talk, where and when the story is unfolding. I sneak into the computer room at odd hours to jot down a paragraph; I remind myself of someone illicitly phoning a lover. I catch myself daydreaming about my story. I’m like a fool in love.

And then. Reality. The rose colored glasses are ripped off, the birds stop singing…I see the underbelly of my love for writing.

Writer’s block, skewed plot lines, grammar, tenses, inconsistencies, and zzzzzzzz…boredom…it all begins. I start in like a wronged girlfriend, “but you used to be so exciting. You used to be fun and refreshing. What happened to you?! Was it all a facade?”

The honeymoon isn’t over, but sometimes I feel like my writing’s started wearing the dreaded oatmeal mask.

3 Responses to “Writing: An affair.”

  1. caveblogem said

    Before I started going out with the woman who is now my wife I never had a relationship that lasted more than two months. That two month limit was the same length of time that an interpersonal communications professor told me the first euphoric phase of most relationships lasts.

    I have always had the kind of relationship to writing that you describe, too. I go through this frenzy of activity and if the piece is too long or too involved (my masters thesis and my dissertation, to cite two notable examples) they became torture long before I was actually done. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I never tried to get either of them published. I simply can’t face them now. They were both well-written and well-researched, interesting at the time. I have been told by others they are interesting. But since I don’t have to publish them, having not chosen to pursue an academic career after all, I can separate from them permanently. Maybe it would have been different if there were the kids to think about, or if we had a lot of friends in the same circle.

    Maybe you and your writing should have separate vacations, and then come back together after feeling more refreshed. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

  2. Kristina said

    That’s a great analogy! I’m already worried that I’m not going to be interested in my NaNoWriMo novel enough to get back into it again.

    Maybe it’s the beer goggle phenomenon? 😉

  3. caveblogem: yeah, 2 months seems about right. That’s correct, too–the thought about a lack of shared history (the kids, the friends…the mortgage). But love is a roller coaster…the rise and fall. I just want to be on the rise again.

    Kristina: do it–get back to your nanowrimo book–it’ll be worth the effort. just have a few beers before you sit down to tackle it–hee hee.
    : )

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