Monday, January 24, 2011

When I'm at my worst--I'm also at my best.

I'm a big fan of Californication. Although I don't screw up as much as Hank Moody does, I can relate to him. Like all writers, he's trying to write something while he's fully immersed in the chaos of life. And in last night's episode, when he's hit rock bottom again, something in him snapped. When he really felt like he had nothing left--Karen was mad at him Becca was angry with him, he's got lawsuits to deal with, he doesn't have a ton of money--he isolated himself from the world, and sat down to start bangin' that screenplay out of his trusty typewriter.

I've been there.

I'm there right now.

I don't know what's going to happen. My brain is equal parts swelled with love and logic. But I do know this: the more angry I am, the more in pain I am, the better I can write. It's the way I've always been.

I wrote another 1,000+ words last night. Three more chapters.

And they're damn good.

Exactly the way I wanted them to be.

Even if everything in my own life is not.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Unselfishness shining through.

I was ready to rock and roll with the writing tonight. Maybe I still am. But I have a little roadblock. My character S. is really kind of...selfish. Manipulative. Opportunistic. And I'd come home from work tonight feeling dark and twitchy enough to write her, and write her well.

Then I found out that the person I care the most about was in the hospital today. He told me after he got back--he hadn't wanted to worry me. He has a serious disease, and it was flaring up in a way he hadn't experienced before.

It was like somebody flipped a switch in my brain. I am extremely unselfish around this man. More unselfish than I have ever been around anyone. I would much, much, much prefer that I am in pain than have him in pain. The worst feeling in the world for me is when he is in pain and I can't fix it.

I can't fix this.

And I don't deal well with that.

It's taken a lot of the wind out of me for tonight. The wind that was effectively able to write a rather selfish character, anyway.

I'd exchange all the written words I have in me for him to be healed. (I wish it were that easy.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dark places.

The more I write--and oh yes, I've been writing--the more I feel like I'm descending into a cave. I'm exploring the darkest places. The darkest ideas. They're part of this story, and therefore they're also part of me.

Sometimes I'm actually depressed because of it. If you hang around in the dark long enough, your eyes get used to it; you sometimes forget what the light looks like. While I'm generally a reasonably happy person (at least for a twisted writer), even in my happy moments lately I feel like there's perpetually this gnarled, sinister hand touching my elbow, beckoning me to places that most people simply don't go.

But I have to go to these places. For the good of the story. And to some degree for the good of me. Annoyingly self-analytical me.

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." --Nietzsche