September 28, 2010

Of Two Minds

This past weekend, I would have been at the East of Eden Writers Conference if it hadn't been canceled. Since my month has been largely consumed by things that have nothing to do with writing, it was mostly a relief to not have to prepare for and attend a writing conference at a time when my mind was occupied elsewhere. On the other hand, I'm having trouble finding the motivation to bring my focus back to writing, and a conference would have been a great jump-start.

My writing life is made up of oppositions like this. One day my novel is a work of brilliance that needs only a little more revision before I unleash it on the world and win fame and fortune. The next day, it's an unredeemable and unreadable piece of melodramatic tripe. My idea for a new novel alternates between fiendishly clever or completely not worth writing, provided I can even manage to write it, which I either certainly can or absolutely can't.

I'm conflicted about blogging. It's taking up too much time, or I need to spend more time on it. I should network and attract more readers, or I shouldn't bother because I don't have enough to say to more readers. Blogging fuels my writing. Or else it distracts me from writing.

I read marvelous books like THE LAST SAMURAI and can't stop thinking about how good they are, and this fills me with: A) inspiration to write something that has this effect on readers. B) despair at how I'll never write something that has this effect on readers. C) desire to do nothing for the rest of the week except hide away with the book and participate in the fascinating discussion at Conversational Reading. D) all of the above.


Anna Scott Graham said...

A tricky beast is behind the nature of noveling, so much of ourselves wrapped behind a veil that is gauzy at best, downright cumbersome at times. Such a clash of ego and desire, hope and despair; we have to be completely assured of ourselves, yet buried under the weights of those before us. Thank goodness for loved ones, chocolate, beaches, and whatever else anchors.

Lisa Eckstein said...

What a lovely way of putting it, Anna! "a clash of ego and desire" is exactly right.

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