Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog: What keeps me writing?
Welcome to our next installment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog! Be sure to check out last week's post by Laura Diamond. Next week's post will be by Danyelle Leafty, the week after that, Zoe Courtman!
Today I'm to tackle "What Keeps Me Writing?"
My answer? In short, it's to make the invisible visible.
For the long answer, I'll quote Nabokov:
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
I write because in my wee brain there is this story, with thoughts and feelings and happenings and I can't wait to get it on paper. But it's not as simple as that. Oh no. It's not really visible until it's polished, the unnecessary words and clichés have been trimmed, and the Gunk-That-Is-Lydia's-Bad-Writing is purged.
Sometimes after I finish a phrase, or a paragraph, or a chapter, I get that warm fuzziness in my belly, telling me that I've truly made the invisible visible. It's like, "Aahhhhh. Get me a cup of tea and a Whole Foods chocolate truffle. Yes!"
Here's an example. I wanted to say "When a person has a prejudice, even hearing the truth sometimes won't change their perspective." But I needed to write it so it reflected the feel of my piece (set in the American frontier of 1834). And here's what I finally got:
"When a mind is full of fear and fat stories, truth is swatted away like a buzzing fly."
There it is, that miraculous feeling. Now. Where's that truffle?