October 28, 2014

Life’s Small Indignities


Ah, the vicissitudes of the writing life!

A fancy-schmancy way of saying: I have to believe that all people go through the same thing I do every day.  It’s one of the writerly assumptions ~ that my experience is felt by people the world across.  Almost every day I go from the heights of happiness to the depths of despair.  Or sometimes I’m in the depths of despair for long periods.  Rarely do I get the manic happiness for long periods. 

But we all feel that way? Don’t we? 

Every day is a heroic battle in which we front skirmishes large and small.  We’re faced with an ever-mounting pile of decisions and dissatisfactions and inconveniences.  If we could just make one big decision, it would be so easy.  We could just say, “This is it! I’m changing my life.” But it’s not like that. We’re beaten down daily with compromises and indignities.

This, I imagine, is why people go postal or do something drastic.  It’s much harder to handle the confusion and chipping away at your foundations than it would be to take on some grand enemy.  And so sometimes people decide to make a grand enemy and get it over with once and for all.

And I imagine this is why a lot of people read fiction ~ either to feel other people’s confusion and to have things said that they can’t articulate (in the case of literary fiction) or to have forward motion in a well-defined battle (in the case of genre). 

And one of the things I choose to believe is that writing brings us together in a way nothing else can.  It’s the only technology that allows you inside another person, and therefore it’s the technology of love and acceptance.

Write on!

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