Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When I Write

I've been more social than usual lately (which means I interact with new-ish people like once a month instead of once every three months) and so have been recently answering the question about what I do in my job and in my life. I can answer the job question easily, but then I sometimes expand on that to make my life sound more interesting by adding that I also write fiction. And then the person asks me what I write about and I have no ready answer. I usually say, "Dysfunctional women who can't connect with others and always say the wrong things and reveal too much information to casual questions." Maybe what I need to do is come up with a different answer every time, like "I write about pig farming during the turn of the century in Afghanistan." Or "My stories revolve around transsexuals who are hiding their identities." Or  "I'm into tales about registered sex offenders who are really very nice people at heart."

But overall, I feel like a hypocrite, because I haven't been writing fiction at all in the last couple of months, and before that, I was mostly just half-hardheartedly revising existing stories to finish my thesis.  The only times I think seriously about writing are when I can't actually do it. For example, I have great ideas and inspiration when I'm driving in the car. Or stuck in the shower. Or under water. A whole novel idea will come to me, and then I'll imagine suddenly feeling inspired to write it when I get to my destination. Except, when I have the chance to write, when I have free time, when I'm not confined in a car or the shower or operating heavy machinery and can actually write, I play Computer Solitaire instead.

There was a scene on the show Louie last night that came back to me this morning. Louie's upset because his friend is succeeding and he's not.  The friend's just gotten a pilot approved, and Louie realizes that he's jealous and bitter about this guys' success. His other friend goes, "Go get your own TV show then."  He laughs, but she's like, "No, just do it. You're just a guy, and he's just a guy. There's nothing special about your or him, just some people work harder for what they want." I'm paraphrasing, but the gist of it is that you have to at least do the work to get what you want. It's not going to just happen because you feel like you deserve it or you're a better writer than Lisa Scottoline or whomever. Maybe I should just set a personal goal, like to write a book in 6 months and sell it. Maybe I should just decide to be on the best seller list because I want more money to buy a house. Okay, I'll start as soon as I get out of this car. 

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