How strange is this demented feeling when I realize that I have spent agonizing days before a pen and a notebook, with nothing better to do but jot down notes at random. I rap out sentences and it does not help me think, but only eases my crabbed heart. I wish a notebook could laugh.
Every writer scrounges for inspiration in different places when the gods of creativity aren’t there. I poached from current events, embellished to suit my reportage and felt no shame in raiding the headlines.
You move on and try writing humor. It is necessary, I’ve been taught, when attempting contemporary satire, as sharp-eyed humor relies on topical reference points. True enough, some facts can not be improved on, or cannot be delicately twisted.
So you try fiction writing, but you’ll need a sanctuary where you can escape, and create.
Writing fiction is a weird procedure of telling artful lies. It is a peculiar habit of inventing imaginary people who talk and sleep, dream and wake up, kick and kiss another—which is bizarre in itself. That is why writers find ways to make it possible, from lent literary to variations on the hypothesis that a writer’s style may resemble her person as well as her nature.
What if the possibility that a writer’s style reflects her preoccupation as well? How does one learn how to write naturally?
How do you make something publishable or worthy of your editors respect? Charged with dreams and glory, artists tend to be more cheerful than writers. The prose is inexhaustible—you try to cobble out riveting portraits of these eccentrics on rage.
How far can you broaden the boundary that is permissible in terms of language (for we are always puritanical on that) once we have the idea?
In my efforts to give a clean copy, I become complicated, as I stubbornly pay small heed to my faults and vulnerability, because they are stronger than I am.
The deadline flashes and the pressure are wicked. Susceptible and confusing, sometimes when it threatens my sanity, I wish I had listened to my mother and did something practical by becoming a doctor or lawyer. It is said that to come up with a copy during a writer’s block is like pushing the waves. One needs a cool, calm, credible intelligence and unending lesson in tenacity, perseverance—with a lot of vision and imagination.
The strangeness of life and the world are stories worth telling. You’re watching a circus of human behavior, marvelous movements and curious minds, passing your village.
Sometimes, what they call creative breakthrough, especially when worked out metaphors have been milked to the limits, is just a pipe dream.
Sometimes and with reason, writing can be a prolonged and disenchanting misery: imprisoned in that darkness of the unconscious, no matter how much you scream for the muses, it is only a sound above the groan, so you just keep on going, amassing thousands of words and find credence.
But as a contented inmate of this singular institution of pen pushers, that makes you unemployable.
I will try to cram the paragraphs full of facts and give them weight and shape. Then I’ll worry about my editor who has a marvelous sensitivity to verbal phrasing and structure—and patience.