Oh god, the weeds. Every writer gets in them. Somehow, knowing that doesn’t help when you get there yourself. The point at which you look at your stack of paper with all your sentences all written out by hand over the last however many years and you think: God. Who’d want to read that pile of garbage? What is this even about? What made me think these ideas and characters would be interesting to anyone? Why did I sign that stupid contract with that ridiculous deadline. OH GOD WHY ME WHY ME WHY ME.
It’s not an attractive time in a writer’s life.
I didn’t go through this with Homing. There’s a benefit to writing it fast. You whiz right by the weeds, chopping their heads off blithely as you go. Whee, it’s November! I’m writing a novel! In thirty days! Who has time for self-doubt? Whee!
This one? This one is not going like that one did. This one is stupid. Who would want to read this one? What is this one even about, anyhow?
No, seriously. If you know what this godforsaken stupid project of a novel is even supposed to be about — and why anyone would want to read that anyhow — by all means, drop me a line.
BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE.
It’s just the weeds. I’m just in them, and some day soon I will be out of them.
I wish that was remotely helpful to a writer in the weeds. I hereby regret every time I’ve archly said that to one of my weeds-dwelling writer friends. You’re right: IT DOESN’T HELP.
I will give you fifty dollars to just write this damn thing for me. For real. It’s not even that hard, so long as you steer clear of the weeds.
Fifty dollars. Any takers?
One response to “The weeds”
It’s about whatever is in you that needs to come out..on paper…in the stillness that isn’t the weeds. It’s there, pushing to make its way out of you. All you have to do is quit pushing back. Surrender – to the weeds, to the frustration, to the vulnerability of not knowing. And underneath it all, is the book, words strung together in perfect accord, flowing on the page with meaning and depth and love. That’s it, that’s all. Now get out the lawn mower and clear the way!