17 August 98
writers, and very little harm comes to them.
-- Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot
It's 2 in the morning. The sky is opaque, opressive, with that pale, disturbing orange tint the street lights lend, and the silhouettes of the trees against it look menacing. Nothing is stirring, not wind, not animals. There is a sound of insects, crickets I think, but their chirping is so constant and pervasive it sound more like machinery than nature. I brushed the wind chime hoping for a cheerful sound, but it only clanked dully and fell silent. I have been working since 3 in the afternoon, taking only two short breaks. I was writing-- at least, I thought I was. I feel I have wasted the whole day.
Annie Dillard has been there: "... It was within my possibilities. If only I could concentrate. I must quit. I was too young to be living at a desk. Many fine people were out there living, people whose consciences permitted them to sleep at night despite their not having written a decent sentence that day, or ever." (The Writing Life)
What was I writing-- trying to write? A sort of review of a movie I saw ten days ago. Nothing important, certainly-- the movie was old news even then (yes, it was The X-Files movie), but the story set me to thinking, and, well, I feel as if there's something that needs saying, something important-- though, perhaps, only important to me. Something more than just an opinion or critique, something-- I don't know...
"There is something you find interesting, for a reason hard to explain. It is hard to explain because you have never read it on any page. You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment." (ibid.)
Perhaps. I'll keep working (it's what I do), and when I'm done, perhaps what I have written will be worth reading... or not. Who am I to judge?
If I had a wish, it would be this: that this day would be as long as I need it to be. I hate having to go to bed before I've written at least one decent sentence.
The Madwoman's Journal Index of Entries.