Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writing It is Easier Than Talking About It

Peanut (who escaped the gallery): "So, what's it about?"

Writer: "Umm......"

Now imaging inserting a book topic into this growing, (but it will quickly die), dialogue that's unfortuantely continued with a topic like ... A writer (go figure). A man who takes a magic pill and can then use his brain to its full potential (taken). A murder beneath the Eiffel Tower. (Ooo, but hasn't that been taken? If in doubt, yes.) It's a Christian YA novel (snore). It's a collection of coming-of-age short stories. (The listener thinks, What the fuck's a short story?) It's about a justice-seeking serial killer who shares a sweaty state with hot vampires. (Every former literature professor of that writer just had a seizure.)

Then there's always an awkward pause or two, depending on how much longer a conversation about books, let alone writing them, can last. If the peanut is kind, they'll try and think of one or two more questions and listen politely. If they think they could write at  least as good as you, they'll give you ideas, or feedback on pages they've never seen. If they don't read, they'll quickly change the subject back to their own job. If they do read, they probably understandably think it's all a pipe dream without much chance of water gushing through it.

But if they're one of those people who reads as well as confidently admits to Twilight being as good a read as To Kill a Mockingbird, then they're both bright and honest - the kind of people I love to surround myself with. (Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition, Grammar Girl). And I hope these people (who I like to call 'almonds') rub off on me. If they read, think like this, and actually sit down and write themselves, the almond becomes a cashew, and I want to eat them up, absorbing every shared experience and insight. Because only they know what it's truly like.

So, after some more strained, straggling conversation over a meal, in line for a movie, in the car, or chilling on some couches, we usually flip back (within about 60 seconds) to anatomy, engines, teeth, cooking, budgets, kids, dogs, even cats.

But we might come back to writing at some point. Blogging. Freelancing. The future bestseller. Maybe over dessert, or on the way home from sushi or the beach - which is irritatingly frigid for Florida right now, despite the northern gulf being obviously different from Jupiter.

Peanut: "So, what's it called?"

Writer: (thinks) Well, shit-fucky.

Have your cake and eat it too: Write and don't talk about it. As for pleasing Twi-hards and English profesors, I haven't figured that one out yet...


Anonymous said...

The question is, "can it be done?"


(and don't enter in a jumble of letters; I'm a real person!)

Aly Lawson said...

It's like the white whale.

I get random comments in another language - trying to cut down on that though it makes me feel exotic.