Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Writing Life
To My Muse
For years I fought you tooth and nail
Get out of here
you pushy thing
You persevered, you sat on the edge of my desk
wearing a work cover-all with all those loops for hammers and such.
You leaned on my computer and sneered at me for going down the wrong
rabbit hole again and again.
You thought it was positively hilarious that word count was so important to me.
You called me obsessional and neurotic and self-satisfied.
When I'd be happily in the woods taking in the sylvan goodness
you'd spoil it by suggesting, ever so slyly that my protagonist
didn't know herself. That the antogonist wasn't, that there was indeed
NO DAMN PLOT!
What do you know of conflict? you asked, not expecting an answer.
What do you have that needs to see the light of day anyway?
Worse was when you wouldn't show up for work at all.
You'd call me from some bar and say you couldn't be bothered since you didn't really exist anyway.
You'd found another writer, you'd tell me. One who will work AT NIGHT and isn't taking up the accordion, embroidery, basil farming, chicken rearing, French cooking, spring cleaning, family dramas, West Wing/Dr.Who/The Birth of the Blues, good works, old friends,photography, new friends, sex and doing her taxes. Someone who was DEDICATED to becoming a novelist. A real writer. Humph, you'd snort.
Is it the Tartlett? I'd ask, trying not to whine. (it was the snorting)
Never mind you said. None of your business who. What are you going to do about it?
I sat at my computer numbly. Could I do it without you? I showed up. I did my thousand but inside I was a wreck. I kept at it. Just one word after another like I was walking on the moon looking for craters, for life, for some cheese.
Yesterday morning, you came home. You waltzed in whistling a mysterious tune. You gave me a flowering branch of willow and dark chocolate and an idea for the plot. You kissed me behind the ear and told me I was going to make it.
I won't let you down!