Saturday, June 25, 2011

In Which Noting is Solved and I Keep Writing

"You were going crazy and calling it genius - I was going to ruin and calling it anything that came to hand."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald to Zelda

I worry about white noise, particularly in my manuscript. I worry that my faith in myself is a false construction and that my revelations are as meaningless as the communist conspiracies of a schizophrenic.
I worry that I offended someone with the word "schizophrenic."
I worry that I worry too much.

I'm striving for perfection in my own right, and that's hard, not because it makes me alone, but because my perfection is my worst critic. She's a nazi bitch who hates the word "nazi" because nazis are cliche. On good days she compares me to J.D. Salinger at age 8. On bad days, a fat Sylvia Plath.

My story's perfect. My story doesn't worry me. What worries me is the way I'm telling it. As much as I read and am jealous of writers in The New Yorker, there's an emotional distance in their sprawling prose that I don't want to imitate. Yes, their work is brilliant. Yes, it is literary--and therein lies the trap.

How do you do a story justice without distancing your reader? How do you dissect your heart without arousing "Heart? What heart? Do writers have hearts?"

no heart here, yo.

I'm dissecting as honestly as possible, using the right word over the word that will send readers to the dictionary (like Papa said, big words don't mean big emotions). But is that enough? Isn't a book---by its very nature---pretentious?

my jar of words

Alright, then, suppose I change the medium. Suppose I make a movie (read: not a "film").

Movies are less pretentious. You don't even have to know how to read. All you do is open your eyes and ears--though, these days, even that seems like too much to ask ( you can't enjoy Casablanca from the screen of an iPhone)

I'll leave the movies to the beautiful and the pocket-sized.

Besides, I don't trust actors.

This was a pretty pathetic monologue in which nothing was solved. The only resolution is one I knew from the onset: I need to keep writing.

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