Thursday, October 22, 2009

On Addictions and Lifelines

The universe sent me gifts today.

Maybe it's my bleary mind-truly bleary, for the well of words is running dry, and I find it increasingly difficult to complete verbal thoughts-or maybe it's that I feel so out of touch with the overwhelming left-brain part of me that dominates my normal day-to-day that I pick up on things not neatly constructed into expectations, but the gifts are there. Something as simple as sitting in a coffee shop this morning, digging deep for a cathartic scene and the music piped into the space, into my brain, is the perfect soundtrack for the moment...a resonance of harmony and angst and grief and all the fuel I needed for the space of the two minutes it took to purge myself through my character.

And it's not just today, it was throughout the Fastdraft process. Secondary characters walk into my life, even a brief glance and I know it is them and they walk out again. I see symbols where I'd been a thousand times and never payed attention. My fingers fly across the keys before the thought is even a conditioned muscle memory inaccessible except in this vacation world of the right brain. Everywhere around me things resonate, the weather parallels my story, my mood. It's hard for someone who doesn't write to understand, but it is the stuff of addictions. The sense we are creating something larger than ourselves we cannot quite understand but something we have faith and trust is there. How many things in life can we say that about with any certainty?

I'd edit this, but it is the truest sense of where I am at the moment. Tomorrow marks the end of this novel's Fastdraft session. I have yet to figure out the exact black moment, though I know the ending. I have every confidence I've set up the perfect storm and it will come to me like the universe bestowing a gift when I least expect it. When I return from this right-brained vacation, I will return to post-it notes and lists and all the meticulous things I fill my day with which I'll need for the slow-endurance marathon that is the meditative draft, everything I'll need to get it right, but for now, I'm beyond grateful for the experience, the story that was gifted to me, and me alone. There is magic, as much for the writer as for the reader.

Many days, one in particular, I wanted to give up. I walked that dangerous precipice of self-doubt that comes around during every project where I felt like a fraud and crumbled into a crippling ball of nothingness. Some visitors asked me along the way why I bothered blogging during this time. Without the accountability I may not have come back from the edge of that island. I had to have something to put up, a magic number to justify the hours, the days, and so I pressed on. Thank you, everyone, who stopped by. You were more of a creative lifeline than you'll ever know.

Today's word count: 6421


the walking man said...

The fun part about teetering on the edge of the abyss and falling over is that you find that humans really do have wings. Fly on little birdie the finish line be in sight.

Charles Gramlich said...

It's good to know that others have been there. I certainly have. And I'm a bit at the point now where I feel like I've run out of words.

Jen FitzGerald said...

You are an inspiration, L.A. Really.

Todd Wheeler said...

You've rocked this book, this draft, this story as gift. Each writer needs to do what works for themselves and it seems clear you know what works for you.

Robin said...

Hugs. Reading this post I can tell you've accomplished something so great, so yours, and I'm in awe of your dedication and hard work. Congratulations.

Vesper said...

the stuff of addictions - I know what you mean...
This is a beautiful, wonderful, inspiring post. I feel richer for having read it. Thank you.
You'll make it, L.A. You're a writer.

(word verification: abird)