Moss Hart had talent, an inhuman tolerance for work, and a pair of brass balls, but what set him apart from the thousands of other guys hanging around theater lobbies in the mid-1920s trying to catch a break was that the man was fucking relentless.
No matter how people approach loneliness or solitude or community, we all do. We’re not that different from each other. The way we experience it is different, but we all experience love, pain, loneliness.
We’re always connected, in theory, to people via the Internet in our homes. And yet, we’re growing more isolated and disconnected.
I feel it in my brain, I can feel when it’s been a few hours since I’ve gone into my inbox. When I go online my brain feels like it’s sizzling. It’s not a good way to think for someone who needs to make intuitive and imaginative and memory-based connections.
Initially I had a blog because everyone told me to have a blog. And when I started, I thought what can I regularly blog about that feels like a deep enough well? And the answer was: the process of writing. The creative process itself. What it takes to do the work, what are the pitfalls and the joys, the struggles and the privileges. We do what we do alone in a room. Yet we’re struggling with the blank pages.
You have a hard time imagining how the things you’ve experienced or discovered, which seem abjectly personal, could be of use to another writer. You’re aware that you can follow every single rule in the book, and still write a crappy story. You’re aware of the constant disappointments of writing, of falling short again and again, of seeing ideas shrivel up or simply die.
I’m very grateful for the attention because it allows me to keep working, which is what I love. But I have to seal myself off from it, absolutely negate it, because the writing won’t come otherwise. It’s such an intimate thing; I can’t do it in front of other people. It’s a rich dimension in one’s head – to access it, the noise has to be shut off. And there is a lot of noise in the world.
Elissa Schappell thinks writers need to stop whining. “Writers seem to think that by virtue of intellect or sensitivity that we suffer more than others, that the work we do is more necessary than other work. This idea is not only ridiculous, it’s shameful,” she wrote after 2paragraphs asked her “What Do You Like Least About Being A Writer?” Pair with: our interview with her earlier this year.
You see, at my age, after the youth burns out, and the long sweet middle years lie ahead, what happens after the writing is done simply does not matter. The point is the chemical burn itself, the molecular exchange, not what is produced or left behind. The point is being, not having done. That would certainly explain the reason why I’m still here, after all these years, chasing the light in a city unwilling to lie down and sleep.
Bryan Vandyke, “Chasing the Light: On Not Quitting the Writing Life”
I’ve been working on my memoir, Land of Enchantment, for a little over a year now. “Land of Enchantment” is New Mexico’s state nickname, and I’ve appropriated it to describe a young adulthood spent in the desert and on the Internet. Allow me to practice my elevator pitch out on you guys:…
All of Leigh Stein’s writing should be on your radar, but her forthcoming memoir is one we’re particularly eager to read.