A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


My brain has been one big rifle blast for the last 36 hours. Like buckshot, each pellet a thought, each careening off into a different corpse of an idea. It's been nearly impossible to focus on any one thing. In the middle of it, I'll start examining the next target in the back of my brain until it works its way forward and I have to move over and get it out. This culminates with me stalking around my apartment with the music at full blast, or maybe even leaving just to walk for a couple of blocks and let the cold air shock me out of this system.

I've started watching Proof, and I feel like Anthony Hopkins, off the deep end, doing math problems while sitting in the snow, convincing himself that this is working, that he's on an impressive streak of creativity. And then I stand aside as my own Gwyneth Paltrow and wonder where this manic energy is coming from.

Because in truth, I am actually being productive. Work is getting done. It started on Thursday night when I rewrote the ending paragraphs of The Everlasting by hand in a tiny moleskin notebook, working from memory, and finally solving the riddle. (Though, would it work better in first person?!) It's amazing how long it took, how much I ignored my own advice. As an editor, I used to instruct artists who were having trouble with a tricky image to start from scratch. If you keep working over the same drawing on the same piece of paper, you'll get nowhere, because you can't obliterate the fractured image, you can't build on a poor foundation. Same goes for a piece of writing. If you keep working in the same file, you'll keep shuffling the same words, become married to particular phrasings. Yet, only now do I step out on my own.

And then I got through a particularly involved and harrowing sequence of Have You Seen the Horizon Lately? in between editing my MySpace profile something like ten times. And then I have to stop my exercising and pause my movie because I have ideas for the Lance Scott serial for the summer that I just have to write down right now or they won't leave me the fuck alone.

I've got a bloody scratch up my forearm and I don't know where it came from. Perhaps I should check under my own fingernails for tissue.

I say "in truth" that it's productive, but what if I come out of this haze and it's all shit?

This is writing folks. Terribly glamorous stuff.

Current Soundtrack: songs with the phrase "End of the World" in the title, featuring Black Box Recorder, The Cure, Herman's Hermits, My Little Airport, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Current Mood: losing it

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

1 comment:

neal s said...

Everyone really does think it's glamorous - not to mention easy - until they actually try to do it.

I sometimes think that I'd like to return to my high school one of these days to talk to the upper level English classes and let those kids know what they're in for if they make the same kinds of choices I made. Not to discourage them, per se, but just to let them know.