October 28, 2009

Let's Play

Well, it was the switching that helped (see yesterday’s post). I shelved the Vietnam story for a couple of days and responded to a call to write about blue (thanks, Nina!). The voices of the protagonist of this story and of the previous story are actually not much different, but the mode of expression is much different. In the Vietnam story, it’s all very serious, mimicking my approach to the piece, while this second story writes like a fairy tale.

Isn’t that interesting? Now that I think about it, any move to be more childlike ~ whether it’s by writing in a childlike style or by playing or by taking myself less seriously ~ helps me to become less blocked. Last year when I was trying to write a synopsis of a novel, the only way I could accomplish it, simplify it enough, was to tell it like a fairy tale: “Once upon a time, there was a good girl who fell in love with an idealistic young man who was a writer.” Then, from that purely chronological and essentialized version, I complicated it and removed it from the “once upon a time” style. But it really really helped. (Just as it would help to begin writing a synopsis as if you were sitting on a barstool and trying to explain a movie to the guy next to you.) It’s the taking everything so seriously, the anxiety of influence, of competition, of failure, that gets me sometimes. It’s not what I’m saying; it’s that I’m not saying it well.

So, let’s play! Get out those slinkies and footballs and Barbies and crayons ~ here we go!

PS

I think I’ll add to the blog, instead of status, “What I’m Reading Today.” Which doesn’t mean I’ll read it all the way through and finish it before I move on to something else. You might notice I skip around a bit. Uh, a lot.

What I’m Reading Today: Just finished Tom Piazza’s City of Refuge for book club. Very ambitious, which is hemming and hawing for I both admired it and thought it needed to be focused a bit.

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