Picked up Brother of the More Famous Jack. Barbara Trapido is an incredible writer. Nagging envy made me put it down after the first five pages. I’m a reader, thank God, but the writer in me takes a toll from everything I read. Reading is a solace; films too. Writing is torture.
Don’t edit the first draft. That’s the story told, and it might work for some, but it’s never worked for me. The advice is a mirage. When you are thirsty in a desert you are desperate for the oasis. Don’t censor—I agree with that. But don’t edit? Editing is where the work happens. For me. If you can bash out a solid first draft, I’m ragingly envious, but good for you. Enjoy. But editing is the activity that allows my unconscious to do its work. I don’t trust simple answers to complex questions. I know what has worked in writing a novel, and it was a difficult, draining path. But then, it could be I am a difficult and draining person.
I wish I enjoyed it more, that’s all. I wish that I believed more forcefully that writing was worth the effort and agonies. To write again I would have to put aside duties and comforts. The thing that hurts is that I don’t feel like I have a choice in whether I write or not. Turning away from the fight doesn’t mean the fighting stops, it prolongs it and lets it get meaner and dirtier. A writer not writing is carrying an infection of the soul. But I’ve said all this before with different words. I don’t want to be that writer who writes about a writer who doesn’t write. Christ, I exhaust myself.