I submit this post to you today in hopes of clearing my mind of familiar troubles. Dear readers, I am unsettled. This gift I had for writing–or maybe thought I had–has atrophied. I can’t do what I once could. I now stumble for words and phrases, and the ease with which I used to create has receded, pulled back like a wild thing easily startled, a deer or a flower, Sleeping Grass you dare not touch. This frightens me. What am I if not a writer? Writers create, writers seduce. They can be nasty or standoffish, but the moment you read the story–or poem, song lyric, whatever–you feel that connection, see all those tender bits laid bare, years of intimacy distilled down into a single page, words simple but rife with double meaning. At least, that’s what good writing means to me. All of my favorite writers are what others might call navel gazers: those who choose internal narrative over dialogue, raw emotion over action. Neil Gaiman, whose light sci-fi sits shotgun to perception. Marguerite Duras, whose stream-of-consciousness style captured the oft-buried emotions of her protagonists. John Paul Sartre, who accurately described my own feelings of remoteness. These writers I love and emulate. I fear I shall never reach their levels greatness.
I’m editing this story, or, rather, trying to edit it. I’m not sure exactly what the problem is, maybe too much dialogue, but every rewrite has been stilted, jerky, not at all smooth and flowing as I would prefer. Either I skimp on character direction, or I put in too much, and I just can’t. Get. It. Right. And I feel stupid and sub-par and bad, because it’s always what I’ve wanted to do and I can’t do it and I’ve had all this time and what am I if I’m not a writer? *sigh* I’m just so discouraged.