In summary, and after a bit of time to think it over, I’ve decided that it’s not heaven but a hell of a lot of work. I’m reminded of the last verse of Cape Breton poet Aaron Schneider’s poem, “Life at Sea":
run before it stoking
and steaming, while each day asks
what tied us to this frozen helm
horizon a great white wave?”
One fella said, “You have to watch that you don’t write yourself out.” His fear being, I think, that writers could put so much of their writing energy and content into the blog, that they wouldn’t have much left for their other creative endeavours. His advice put a bit of a scare into me.
The second piece of advice sounded more daunting. It was that I should put the blog out fairly often. Once a week at least. So I could continually be in my readers’ faces, waving some new Larry tidbit.
My emails are person specific. One email per person. All personally tailored, with a bit of gossip for this guy and gossip about the first guy to the second guy; each email hand-made with person-specific snoop and chatter. Very few of my emails are generic, mass produced or consumer friendly. So, as you can see, I wasn’t prepared to pump generic tidbits into the blogosphere.
Also, I have read in more than one book about writing, that you can talk a story away. Not run out of the ideas or feelings required to write in a blog, but yap away the creative power needed to write something complex and powerful.
For example: I enter a shop. I see a small, older woman in a tiny, cluttered room. She’s selling second-hand books and clay figurines made by her husband. The store is empty. She’s waiting for customers, sitting behind an old cash register and drinking coffee out of a small white styrofoam cup. It’s not hard to tell that her business isn’t doing well. The room looks shabby and dusty and she looks shabby and dusty, but also sad, lonely as hell and a little bit desperate. I can feel her melancholy. I also sense a story bubbling up in my mind. It begins to simmer. Empathy for her plight is stirring it up.
And I know that my muse, who lives under our trailer, can feel it too. Which means he’s probably working on the story while I’m doing whatever. Like when I’m frying eggs and boiling water or clearing snow off our laneway. I think I’ll write a blog about snow clearing some day. Ha!
So, let’s say I meet this woman, and then a little while later, I get together with some friends at a local pub, and while quaffing down a beer I tell them about this lonely woman I saw at this shop. I discuss a possible story. Leak out a few plot ideas. Blah, blah, blah. My friends might offer their opinions and the story becomes muddied, mutated and mangled before I have time to sit in my writing room and keyboard it out.
The next day or so, when I sit down to write this story, guess what? The story has been partially gutted. My emotions, which were fresh and eager to be penned, have fizzled like a wet firecracker. Damn!
I’m not saying the story has vanished. It might still be there, but the fire may have been partially talked away. And as I said in my last blog, a large part of fiction writing, at least for me, comes from the gut. It’s not really a rational process.
Maybe it’s because when you leak out or pour out a story idea you partially encapsulate it or frame it. Nothing my creative muse hates more than a framed idea. Gutless, and when I invite my muse up to my writing/Black and Decker drill and saw/Sue’s files/our vacuum cleaner storage unit/office, to join in the writing project, well, he’s ticked off.
“Hey dude, you’ve already blabbed that story out. So what do you want me to do? Warm it up and send it out as second-hand crap? Go pencil yourself.”
Sidney Cox once wrote, “Do not try to write a poem until you want to.”
I know that as with everything in life, when you create, you’re walking a fine line. Because the diamond in the rough is super hard and yet as fragile as a spider’s web. Choosing not to run as quickly as the hare might fail to get a writer so much into the world’s hungry, obsessive gaze, but it might also be a way to save his or her writing self by keeping the flames hot.