Monday, 16 May 2011

treasure: writing.

it probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone reading my blog that i do, at some stage, plan to be a writer of some kind. the blog was meant to be an outlet for all the random shit i want to say, knowing there would sometimes be some kind of audience.

a blog, however, is not a book.

my ex wrote a book, well he wrote 2, but one he self-published. he dedicated it to me, which was incredibly sweet, possibly the most touching statement anyone has made (in the romantic sense) about how they feel about me. a book is hard work. i say that not as an author of a book, not even as an attempted author of a book, but as the past-girlfriend of someone who wrote a book.

totally an expert.

a good book is a book that persuades you into admiration, devotion, commitment. a good book leaves you a little different than you were before you started with it. it's like a relationship, i suppose. or perhaps it's that i'm a commitment-phobe and very tentative at the start of a book. most of them don't convince me they're worth it until the end, and sometimes not even then.

so i guess a good book draws you in at the start, makes promises, make you feel safe and calm. it takes a lot of faith to shut off most of your senses and focus your active mind on just one thing. for me as a reader, i do expect a certain level of seduction. it's that wierd thing though, where if the book tries too hard, is too obvious in it's intention, i'm less interested.

similarly if the book is too aloof, expecting to get by just on the fact it's a pile of bound pages, i feel snubbed, but normally am stubborn enough to keep reading.

i've just read this back and it sounds like i'm talking about people, as this is pretty much my outlook on them too. ah well, books are people sometimes. bad prose is a bad personality. insistence on unnecessary adjectives is over-doing name dropping.

to re-focus myself here (i have a lot to say about writing and books, them being my favorite topics for most of my life), i think the issue that is going to undo me in trying to write a book myself is my habit of looking ahead. i'm certain i will be struck with writer's-block-style anxiety if i don't know where my writing is going to end up before i even write a word.

i want to leave a reader with something, something resonant, some sort of revelation, or even just the sweet warm feeling of being understood at some level by someone in the world. this is what books did for me, and never so much as when i was an adolescent.

so i know my target audience. i've referenced here, months ago now, reading a series of books by john marsden that i got so involved in as a 12 year old that when my favorite character died in the third book, i cried all weekend. a little pathetic to admit i suppose, but i was so connected to this person that her death seemed a tragedy.

not that i'm saying i want to write books that make teenagers cry. that's a little what it looks like i suppose.

my impatience with my writing right now is driving me crazy. even my blogs start off seeming like they're going somewhere, only to peter out and end abruptly, normally because life has gotten in the way in the form of a housemate getting home, or the realization that it's 1am, or just a sudden loss of inspiration.

i'm scared that if i ever sit down to write a book, i'll go nowhere, or in circles, or end up somewhere completely different. disappointed.

for the moment i will just continue to research, which is basically an excuse to keep reading. i do have some stories i want to tell. so i will be trying them out on you, dear readers.

thanks for your patience.

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