Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Need To Be In Order To Do

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .

                                  Wondering about the endless possibilities.

Musical Moment ~ “Another Love” Tom Odell

When I read fiction, I simply am.  I know how to be with the story from the first chapter to the last, but when I read non-fiction books on Craft, I feel impatient to get to the writing.  I want to take what I’ve learned in the first few chapters I’ve read or chapters I’ve scanned and either apply it to my manuscript or make changes based on what I just learned.  I usually want to skip the rest of the book and focus on my own words…without reading the rest of the Craft book.  There is this impulse in me that tells me that I will learn by doing and to focus on my own writing by finding my own rhythms and working with my own voice, than to take the time to read 200-300 pages and do writing exercise that will never enter my manuscripts.  

Books on Craft make me feel the need for action, for movement, for progression in my storyline.  I can literally feel the need pulsing in my body, pushing me towards activity and making me feel more awake to my creativity, kind of like caffeine. These non-fiction classes represented in books on writing, on plotting, on character, on POV are here to help me, but my impatience to “get to it and get it done” is a timeless beast I wrestle with. 

Sometimes I wonder, should I adopt a new name like “Smackdown Gyrrl” in order to enter the ring with this beast of impatience breathing down my vertebrae?  I can’t learn unless I do the work as people always advise when someone wants to move full throttle toward their passion.

As Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”  I need to enjoy the (writing) journey to get to the (completed novel) destination.

Am I the only one who gets annoyed with this saying?  I get it.  I do, but my human-egocentric side simply wants to get it done.  I want the immediate gratification.  I know it is not possible if you want to be a writer.  Writing is a process, a long intricate process.  Being a writer is like being a detective.  You have to look over each piece of the evidence, look for patterns, ask questions, seek advice and do it all over again to get to the end of your case, hopefully resolved with all questions explicitly answered and the guilty and innocent parties identified, thrown in jail or exonerated.  That is why some cases take years or go completely unresolved. 

What I really need to do is learn to be in that moment, with those Craft books like I do with fiction and just inhale the teachings in order to learn what I need to learn to implement into my own writings. 

I need to learn to Be in order to Do.

There are many books that will remain hidden under beds or in the back of drawers, not as a published book but as a dust-collecting relic of hopeless hope.

Depressing, isn’t it?

Why do we do it? Perhaps we’re all crazy or perhaps because story is the pulse of life to not only be our entertainment outlets, but also be the legacy of minds and souls to forever have a validation of our existence when we are dead. 


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