filth

Writing a novel is the loneliest thing, or I think it needs to be if the novel is going to be any good, but I am having difficulty living through that.  When I write stories I write the whole thing as best as I can before I show anyone– then I know what it is, and the reader can help me see if I made what I wanted and what else I might have made besides.  But a novel is so long, and I am so scared.  I try to remember that the first one I didn’t show until I had a real draft.  How did I do it?  I was isolated then is how.  I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t know if it would ever be published is how.  All that mattered was making the book.  Now I have people I want to connect with, who I respect, and I have enough success that I have ambition in the book that is in relation to now, not just in relation to the universe of books.  I have grants I want to apply for but that would mean showing parts of the book that might not be good or might not be ready to be rejected whether they’re good or not.  But I want the money from a grant etc the time I’d exchange the money for, but also whatever it represents in terms of affirmation now that I think maybe I could get it, now that I know where it is, even.  I have a desire for people to look at me, and to look at my book, and that feels dirty in only the wrong ways.  I am not against dirty, I’m against needy.

Okay miss thing spit it out.  I got a critique that what I am making is too dense.  I know that sometimes when I write stories the first draft is cryptic.  I am also dedicated to the concept of innovative narrative and I am trying to create a form of narration that is specific to this material and will not let the reader rest on familiar cues for understanding because the book is about how that never works, clues don’t add up, understanding doesn’t happen like that, it happens through experience and if anything clues are red herrings, in fact they are specifically red herrings, they are the firings of desperate and confused brains.  But I am also dedicated to the notion that the narrator/author is not a jerk and that she wants to be read and is not a jerk to the dear hearts who would come to her bare, silent, and open.  I do not know how to reconcile.  I never have.  All I’ve written has in one way or another eventually avoided this problem, set it aside for later.  I want to have the courage to take it up this time, to use the privileges I’ve gained through my job and whatever respect I’ve earned in the literary and publishing community, and let’s not kid ourselves, industry.  Like with rusting gears and oily coveralls and fat cats smokin stogies in their shiny towers.

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