writing is self abuse

I’m having a real fight with this third novel. Funny thing is, it’s the most enjoyable thing I’ve undertaken to this point. If I can pull this off, it’ll be a personal triumph. But oh, it’s driving me mad.

There’s much less structure to the underpinnings, I’m looping makeshift constructions around things as I go along. Makes me feel giddy, all of this brazen rule breaking. I just hope I end up with something that others will enjoy as much as I do.

It’s no surprise I wound up here – my favorite authors didn’t write in properly structured prose. I love going off the rails with them, adjusting to their rhythms and being shown a completely different view from sometimes crazily tipped angles. It’s enough to make you dizzy – but we love that, don’t we? We love the amusement of the ride.

I am nowhere near the levels of skill so seemingly easily tossed out by Henry Miller or Kazuo Ishiguro or Jean Paul Sartre. (I couldn’t find anything that gave a good description of The Reprieve, but the whole Roads to Freedom trilogy is remarkable.) I am no possessor of the ballsy bravery James Joyce showed when he said ‘fuck it’ and wrote in the poetic hum and private language of his characters. But god, it makes my mouth water. It’s like looking at the bent and swirled and pulled apart images of Picasso, or the layers upon layers of freeflow drips and spins of Jackson Pollock. To do that with words…. Yeah. That’s a mindgasm, right there.

But now that I’m into it, allowing my characters to drag me this way and that and running after them, trying to structure all of their actions – it’s tough. It’s fricking hard, it leaves me in little writing eddies of kinetic catatonia. Goddamn, it’s fun. I just hope I come through with a bit of sanity intact.

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