Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Writing again

For the first time in about a month, I've worked on my fiction. Twice in the past three days. But I am not back in the groove. It feels strange; it is so easy to get used to not writing, although I think it's been depressing me. Clearly it's impossible to write and work full-time, impossible for me anyway. I haven't had the energy, and it's become a downward spiral in which not writing makes me depressed, giving me less energy, etc.

On the plus side, I've gotten some real distance on a story that I didn't like much when I was working on it regularly. Having reread Olesha's Envy again in order to teach it, I came back to my own writing with an edgier voice. I am more willing to make my main character seem like a lunatic. I am more willing to chop out whole sections, even though they seemed integral to the plot. I think you have to give up the plot--just chop out everything you don't like, regardless of whether it's holding the story together. Then string the good parts together with a few more good parts and you're done. So how to get this distance on work on a regular basis without stopping writing for a month? I have to have several projects going at once, I guess. That doesn't seem like the usual advice, but there's no other option.

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