greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,
greygirlbeast
greygirlbeast

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Adrift in nouns and verbs and adjectives.

"I sat and wondered. How to make an artist do something he doesn't want to do or can't do. There are no threats, no blandishments that have effect because the 'art' part comes from within and is more subject to fears that result in nightmares of death than to warnings of guild denunciation or even simple greed. They can be assuaged sometimes only by walking away. When Joan Crawford told F. Scott Fitzgerald in the thirties, 'write hard, Mr. Fitzgerald, write hard,' she was saying the only thing that can be said. She was shrewd enough to know that 'write well, better, faster, deeper' has no practical bearing on an interior process ultimately unknowable."

— Steven Bach (1985)

I used that quote on this day one year ago. This morning, it seems even more relevant to my life as a writer. And I know, even more than I knew last year, the truth of Bach's words. Yesterday, I did 1,001 words on Chapter One of The Red Tree. But, frankly, I am terrified of this novel. I have taken upon myself a very ambitious thing, and have so little time in which to accomplish it. I do not know precisely why the time matters, why anyone would want an author to write something more quickly than hesheit is able, but there you go. Being an author is art and business, which is rather like the marriage of a peacock and a water buffalo. I have not even finished Chapter One, and already the book feels like it's not going where I wish it to go. The voice does not feel authentic, and given that it's a first-person narrative in journal form, authenticity is paramount. I doubt every word. There is no time for doubt, and no time to lose. But, as Mr. Bach says "There are no threats, no blandishments" that can hurry this along or allay my fears. I need to write every singe day to make this work, but, having written for the last six days, I just don't know if I'm willing to force it today. I will, or I won't.
Tags: the red tree, writing
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