Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Writing Life

The writing life is a funny life. We are trying to create life on the page which requires that we remove ourselves from life and sit in a room alone and stare at a blank screen. We spend much of our life making sentences.

Sometimes I do wonder about that. We excuse ourselves from many things in the real world in order to try to make things live in our imaginary worlds. Sometimes it gives us a good distance, but it can be a dangerous one, too. We see something happen or are involved in something and even though we’re engaged, some part of us is imagining how whatever is happening might be worked into a story somewhere down the road. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. It is what it is, I suppose, though to be honest I don’t know really know what that means. “It is what it is” is a phrase I keep hearing and that I use myself sometimes. It sounds good but isn’t it kind of obvious (of course it is what it is, what isn’t?) and non-descriptive? Maybe that’s its charm. But I digress.

So there you are. I think writing teaches the writer a certain detachment, which can be useful in certain situations and has to be controlled in others or it might be harmful. And all this sentence making? Long ones, short ones, simple, compound, complex, compound-complex. Round and round. You can measure a writer’s life in sentences. Good ones and ones you do over and over and never become good. Ones you can’t take back (I’m afraid I have published copies of MY ROADTRIP TO THE PRETTY GIRL CAPTIAL OF THE WORLD, my first novel, in my room where I’ve taken a pencil and rewritten sentences; I try not to look at published work but sometimes if you’re doing a talk or reading you’re forced to) and even ones you like, even ones you think, Not bad.


Anonymous said...

"The writing life is a funny life." Yes, it certainly is. It's bizarre and beautiful. I love the fact that writers remain detached from the world... I think it's a sublime way to exist. :)

Brian Yansky said...

Right you are. Sublime and Subliminal and many other subs way to exist.

Taylor K. said...

Hey, I'm glad your still updating regularly. I've been without good internet for a good portoin of time now, so haven't really had a chance to visit. Glad I did today because this entry is as insightful as ever. I also find it quite odd how to write well about life one has to close him or herself off from life. It's quite odd, but...well, it is what it is.

Brian Yansky said...

Hi Taylor--you're too kind. Odd it is--what it is.