16 October 2008

mind breaks

I must strike a balance between input and output.
This is difficult. That is an understatement.
Writing involves discipline, but first one must determine how much energy to invest in keeping the suck of life open, to receive the great loves of our lives, and to seek advice from the known and respected writers past and present. Only after that (though this be ongoing and never, never quite leaning towards completion) can it be prime season for converting these experiences of the sensory and the cerebral into an original form of any merit. I guess most writers just publish their practice until they find that seed.

I mean, at times I think I'm onto something.

Then I'll return, tell myself to go read a book or take a hike or something. It's not enough yet. Need more greats in my head, you know.
Oh, and there's an article by Malcolm Gladwell in this week's New Yorker ["Late Bloomers"] that is fairly reassuring. He claims that many excellent writers (and other artists) were late bloomers, so there's no need for my anxiety over not having a novel published at age 20. Gladwell wants to disprove this popular conception of genius linked with precocity. A nice quote from that: "On the road to great achievement, the late bloomer will resemble a failure." Maybe a lot of the reason why I so fear aging is that I'm afraid of not having enough time to share all these words I'm convinced are inside, or at least word-seeds that need a damp little bit of soil.

On another note, are there people afraid to take in the "wrong" stuff? Like somehow baser material will undermine the purity and champion of that stuff they've accumulated thus far? I don't get why a classmate would refuse to read a novel simply on principle, assuming it's not a matter of time or effort. Can't there be advantage to having that knowledge - if not from the material in the text itself, then at least from one's own take on it? How can you dislike a book before you've given it half a chance?

1 comment:

j. chew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.