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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seduction and the Moody Writer

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you're flying? I never just take off flying from the ground. I have to climb on top of something - a car, a building, a deck rail - anything that puts a little distance between me and the dirt. Then it's just a little leap, and off I go as my long hair dramatically flows out behind me, stroking my bare skin.

I look at the scene below - the rusted out car, the charred building, the moldy deck rail - and I am ebullient flying high above life's ugliness, and I never want to land.

Some days are just like that for a writer. Some days are absolute perfection in writing heaven. Your take-off is flawless, the wind is at your back, and you're flying so high the ugliness below has faded to nothing. It's just you and that steady, flowing pace, so you set your cruise control in a wide open sky and let your hair fly free. And your writing angels cheer your greatness with every keystroke.

Oh, yes! Those days are the ultimate in writing seduction, and a writer seduced beyond satisfaction has the power to transcend a story in unbelievable ways.

Other days, I climb up on that rusty car, take my little leap, and . . . nothing. Another little leap . . . nothing. Finally, a full blown jump - I will fly today, damn it!  And, I land . . . hard, sucking back a mouthful of dirt. I spit out what I can, jump up, slap myself off, and storm right back up on top of that car, then THUD, I'm chewing dirt again.

Some days are absolute torture in writing hell. And you fight it until your writing demons slam you to the floor, have their way with you, then scrape their dagger claws over every square inch of your body. Finally defeated, you crawl into your dungeon of failure and brood over why you ever got hooked into all this writing nonsense in the first place.

What if I've written my last great line? Have I ever written a great line? What if nothing ever inspires me again? What if that thing that turns me on in the morning, and that thing that keeps me turned on at night - that sleep-depriving seduction of words - is dead? Might I shrivel up and die from passion neglect? What if I have to grow up and get a real job? Why would anyone in their sane mind want to read my crap? Who am I fooling, I'm no writer - I've obviously been faking it.

But then something happens to a writer. You wake up on a new day - maybe not the next day but a new day - and suddenly a flicker of light is there. It might not be a bonfire, but even a lit taper is confirmation that the desire still burns. And you run toward it knowing that writing still seduces you in ways of which you cannot fully and properly speak.

So you smoke your cigarette and get back to the business of writing.


  1. Sarah Barnes said...


    You, darling girl, are an amazingly creative writer!

    I shall now try and figure out how to become one of your "followers".

    Dawn (Sarah)