Play, Dammit!! Now!!

Tuesday 26 February 2008

I began writing an essay a week or two ago. Not sure where it's heading. But it's up to, like, eight pages of longhand. I began it not knowing it's shape, trusting that it would make itself apparent as it went. It felt like play. Hard work kind of play, but still - play.

I got up the next day and wrote more of the essay. More little vignetty bits came out. There seems to be some inherent structure that my conscious mind doesn't know. It was exciting. It felt like play.

And now I haven't written anymore of it since. I looked at it, I think, and saw that it was eight pages, and suddenly realised that I was Writing Something That Was Eight Pages Long. And so now, apparently, it's not allowed to be play anymore. Now it's become work. Which is serious and not fun.

I'm not gonna let it go off into the drawer, half written, never to be seen again ... nope-ity nope.. I'm sitting on something creatively these days which resembles more of a rocklike consistency. It's quite miraculous, really. But still, here I sit, with a half formed piece, and it's already starting to assume the status of work in my head. What does this essay mean. What's it trying to say? Where shall I market it? All things that are not anything to do with this portion of its journey.

Perhaps this is just another version of trying to block myself. Good old Trying To Block Myself - that lovely little god I have worshipped for so long, is surely a Hindu god because it's got, like, 4000 different incarnations. Perhaps this is just another one of them.

Sometimes I write on recycled paper. One of the little ways that I try to stop myself from freaking out too much and getting all serious about what I'm doing, and start trying to work out where to market it when I haven't even FINISHED WRITING THE DAMN THING YET!

At what age does control become a better option than play?

*Sigh* And grrr. And other sundry groanings.


  1. a couple of thoughts (well more than that) came to mind as i read this. one was a quote from hemingway

    "this story was writing itself and i was having a hard time keeping up with it."

    the other was how when i decided to use cheap composition notebooks instead of expensive journals, my writing totally freed up.

    oh and one more thing...i write about four pages longhand every morning and it feels like not very, hey sister...8 pages is definitely still in the play category :)

    stop sabotaging yourself!!! (easy for me to say :)

  2. Hey Lucy. Yes, I write three pages longhand every morning too, but that feels different - that's just morning pages, not anything "real", you know? So yes, 8 pages isn't all that much but because it's Something Other Than Morning Pages suddenly it become scary.

    I didn't realise how scared this poor little inner artist is. I actually spent this morning's morning pages hashing out why perhaps it is that I am scared, and now I feel all warm, fuzzy, self-nurtured and self-validated. It was actually quite powerful.

    So I'm feeling a bit better about the whole thing - I just need to listen to myself and listen to what I'm scared about. Sometimes those answers don't come straight away, which is annoying.

    I'm trying to stop sabotaging myself! I am!

  3. Stop it Sue. Let that creative genius flow.

    Keep writing till you know you have nothing else to write and then if you want to market it or whatever you can format it then.
    It will mean what it means to the person who reads it...what you are communicating might not be what everyone reading it will get, but they will get something meaningful from it.

    Those Hindu gods need to be put in their place!

  4. Jennifer - I'm getting there. Seriously, I am. It's just that I go backwards and forwards. But I'm feeling much better about it all today, much less swayed by the fear. Thanks for your encouragement, girls :) (Lucy, you must be just about getting ready to head off to Paris. Rock on, baby)

  5. But I'm feeling much better about it all today, much less swayed by the fear.

    GOoD! How many therapists does a person need eh? :)

  6. Is that a rhetorical question? Or is it a competition?

    In that case, I'll guess: 7. I could do with 7 therapists :)


Newer Older