Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Map in Your Head

I think my mind is too organized. I've been looking forward to getting back to my writing, and it's looking like next week is when it's going to happen. I have a couple of things I'd like to do--finish one story and start another--but I'm having some trouble getting exicted about it all. And I wonder if it's maybe because I actually plan to do those specific things. I think, after these weeks of organization and goal-oriented labor in the wake of our recent move, what I really need to do is fall off the map.

When I'm writing a novel, and need to make myself a pile of pages, mental order is indispensible for me--I can really cook, knowing what I'm supposed to be doing. But it's counter-productive when what I'd like is to open myself up to inspiration. To do that, a writer needs to wander--to read something weird, to take a long aimless walk, to call up someone you haven't spoken to in a while.

I'd like the map in my head to partially burn up in a fire. I'd like some little kid to draw extra roads on it, or somebody to spill a bottle of bleach on it, blotting out some of the routes. I'd like to cut it into pieces and tape them back together randomly, or try to draw it again from memory, or fold it in half and imagine that the roads now touching across the two halves of paper are connected for real, that distances can be spanned in a split second, that paths end abruptly or never end at all.

It would be nice to be able to go out and get such a map, but I believe I am going to have to make it myself, and in order to do that I will have to stop thinking about it. I'm going to have to think of other things--anything but my stories, anything but my map.

Easier said than done, though, for a nervous wreck like me.


bhadd said...

When We Get There Won! Thanks. You got a map too!

jrlennon said...

Won what? That is a terrific book...

bhadd said...

My respect.

It is a violent book also. The character of the mother was also tough to appreciate completely. I once had three people approach me and demand money or they were going to beat me up, I had never seen them before, and I ran away safely.

I wonder what my attitude toward those people should have been, three males between the ages of fifteen and twenty deciding to choose a male of similar age and attack him. Perhaps Zoli attacking Marko with a pipe is similar?

You should read The Duchess of Nothing I think. Heather McGowan is beautiful stuff.