Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #17: "Thief!"

I've been struggling to write something for this topic until I realized that the reason I am struggling is because I am conspiring with a thief of my own!

I've not been reading any blogs or phoning anyone. I owe my brother and several friends a proper email. My house is quite shocking in its mess. My laundry is piling up. I can see my regular life being neglected. I was trying to write about a time when I have either been a thief (except for bar-stuff, the list is remarkably short) or been with a thief (again a short list!) but I just can't seem to focus.

The reason for all of this is that I have had a book enter my brain. I have written before about accepting book ideas from the universe. Well, some time ago I accepted a wonderful idea. I heard it whispered in my ear and I wrote it down in one of my notebooks. I left it to percolate and found that I thought about it a lot more than some of the others. I mentioned it to Mark last week but told him that I was thinking about starting to write a different book because I didn't feel like I was a good enough writer yet to do this idea justice. (Oooh, I am a textbook case, aren't I?!) He shook his head and told me not to wait and that I should just start. After all, the first attempt is only a rough draft, right? It doesn't have to be good right away.

Well, I mulled over that for a few days. In fact, I started making notes for a different book entirely. I ignored the advice and the whispers and went on with my days. (Why do we have such angst about being 'good'??) And then a few days ago the thieves completely entered my brain. It started with a name. I got the full name of a character. I knew immediately who she was. I wasn't sure about the name and tried to change it to something different. She stubbornly stayed strong. So I wrote her name down. From there my pen hasn't really stopped moving. She has told me her whole story. So has her next door neighbor, her landlord, her ex-lover, and a whole cast of other people who inhabit her world. They have stolen me and my time away. I have found myself scribbling when I should be working, being resentful when I am asked to do something else, and desperate for a pen when another voice begins to whisper in my ear.

I'm scared. I know what this means. This has happened to me twice before. This thief will continue to steal my time. There is a real love-hate thing going on here. I love this moment. I love knowing that if I just sit down at the page, a book will begin to emerge. But I hate it as well. I hate that I will question my ability, my talent, and my use of time. I will always either want to be writing or be dreading it. I will hear the voices in my head and I either won't know how to tell their story or I won't be able to get it down quickly enough. This is a jealous and demanding thief. But I am afraid I have no choice.

For more Sunday Scribblings that have stuck to the topic much better, go here!

19 comments:

paris parfait said...

Ah, yes, quite the jealous and demanding thief! I know it well. It's wonderful that you're passionate about this book and are in the full throes of its development. Good for you! Sometimes those other things just have to wait (says she, surveying her messy apartment with dismay). :)

- Franis said...

You've got a guy there who gives you great advice. I know you won't think of asking, but hire or bribe a one-time housekeeper or one for a while. If you can't afford that, your relatives and friends will probably be happy that you're in a creative flurry. Maybe they can help you with the housework? ;o)

Ride that wave, gal! Yiperoonie!

chiefbiscuit said...

Fascinating to read about the approach and process of writing a novel - I write poetry, and haven't written much prose - I feel I haven't the time ... so found what you had to say really interesting.

Susannah said...

ah sweetie, you're talking my language here :-) i've realised recently that the trick is to allow ourselves to write absolute *crap*, to get the words out in any old shape or form, and then take a deep breath and go back in. the best stuff always appears in the editing stage, but there needs to be something on the screen/page to begin with. sounds like you're in a fantastic place right now - go with it!! who cares about emails and washing up? all you need are the words (well, and Mark too :-) x

GreenishLady said...

Oh. Stay with it. STay in it. That must be a wonderful place to be. Jealousy! I would love to have a book that present in me. Stay with it. Did I tell you to stay with it?

lisrobbe said...

Continue to move forward with your idea. You sound motivated, inspired and dedicated. That's so wonderful. "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff". I wish you the best in finding your voice.

Mardougrrl said...

I am so excited for you! This is the best part of the whole process for me...the "jealous and demanding thief" who steals into our brain, pulls up to the bar, and starts to talk. Marvelous!

Oh, I SOO know what you mean about the little voice that says you won't do the idea justice...but it's YOUR idea. You are the perfect incubator because only you bring your whole self into what you have imagined.

Something that has started to help me with this is to remember that this little self-hating voice is just THAT, one voice among many. Why should it get top billing? Why should I assume what it says is true? It's just Hate itself hating through me, after all.

Or...what Susannah said.

I am so excited for you (and wildly jealous too)!

Letha Sandison said...

Oh Megg, I am thrilled for you!! I love when the muses whisper their inspiraton. I can't wait to red your book!!

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH just keep writing!!

XOXOX-Leth

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Meg! I'm so glad to hear you have a book bursting from you -- it's a wonderful thing! I have also had that feeling that I'm not good enough to take on my best ideas yet and have to train myself on less wonderful ideas, but Mark is totally right: that's ridiculous. First drafts are the way to go! If you can keep centering yourself in the belief that it is a first draft and no one need ever ever see it... that's what keeps me going sometimes. So curious about your new characters and their world!

liz elayne said...

oh meg my dear this is wondrous. i can't wait to hear little snippets of more details. keep writing. do not stop. do not stop. do not stop. eat a snack every now and then. but do not stop.
i will be sending you love and energy to help with the journey.

Madeleine said...

i don't think this a bad thief to be in the presence of. i think this a creative and inspiring thief who is whispering to you and encouraging you fulfill your creative urges.
how exciting to be so grabbed. to be so consumed by something.
good luck.

oh and we'd all like to see the fruits of this labour...please :)

Kim G. said...

I guess a selfish, sticky-fingered demanding muse is better than none at all. Blessings on the process and the journey this story will take you on. Trust and enjoy the ride.

Marilyn said...

Now THAT is the best kind of thief! Happy scribbling!

melba said...

There is this similiar theme in most of your posts...

I think you are on a cliff and you just have to jump...

I KNOW YOU CAN FLY MEG, I JUST KNOW IT!!!!

Take the leap of faith and BELIEVE!!!

la vie en rose said...

fight it girl! stand your ground! write, write, write...or carry around a little tape recorder so if you can't stop to write you can at least dictate your thoughts as you do whatever else is calling you...

Verity said...

I know it has it's demanding side, but what a wonderful visitor it is when it's around, this thief. I'd give in and go with it! Good luck.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Don't fight that particular thief Megg. Welcome it/them and write write write!

Jim

Jessie said...

Whaahoooo!!! Run with it chica! Run, run, run WILD!!!!
:)

HoBess said...

Go Megg! Go Megg! Set the story free! We'll wait for this theif to be done with you ... and the laundry will wait, too. Enjoy!