Words That Change

Diary of an Unborn Writer #60 – Renewal and action

In Uncategorized on 16 May, 2010 at 15:12

Thanks to Blachart67 at the Gnomon workshop for this picture. If you are the artist please contact arjunasoctupus at gmail

Here you are back at the same old place, except you’re not. It’s a new situation, carving music into the keys and frailties exposed again, the better to be made new.

The new job is going well. Odd to be in a situation where you keep telling yourself the only reason for failure is you. It’s mindset to get trapped into and takes a little skill (and courage, and cooking yourself late night salmon) to get yourself out of.

The business world. No one’s allowed to like it, but it gives you a guilty thrill to see things occur and imagine their effect. You’re helping to carve a language, albeit populating the intersphere with more noise, but perhaps it can be a gentler kind. An odd place for a writer but one that is honing you.

Hemingway was a man of action. A soldier, a freedom fighter (though he questioned on what terms the freedom), a fisherman and thrower of knives at his piano. (One night while drunk on absinthe he recorded he’d been firing his knife into a piano: “could always claim the woodworms ate it“). The latter strikes you as an exceptionally manly thing to do.

It’s expected that amongst the woodworms, and other pastimes that make up the writer’s output, he gets some real-lifing in him at points. Miller in Paris, Orwell everywhere, Kerouac you know where, Proust however  created what’s imagined to be the “greatest exposition of the self of anyone, including Freud” and barely left his room. Owing to his temperament this mostly happens by accident, though he’ll (you’re talking as a male writer here) later claim it was some great arc of fate or hand of destiny. He sits and ponders and things happen around him. The quality of his observation is what makes him potent.

You have been thinking though to become a little more Heming in your way. Get practical. At least take a moment to re-house your possessions idly cast around like a spectrum of ill-attended activities, ready to be picked up again at a jump. It’s more convenient of course than remembering where they’ve been put and books on shelves seem a little more forgotten than those splayed on tables, desks and arms of chairs.

Practical things for the coming months: more time in the woods, rekindling your massage/energy healing practice, decorating your room. Your cooking’s already pretty good (cf salmon).

But of course rather than make a start on these things you have sat down to type about them. Glorious waste of an unencumbered life.

It’s Sunday. Productivity will be required for the rest of the week.


The book has been laid aside for a little time. I like to think it’s brewing. I would prefer it that blog time doesn’t take precedence over the deep work required of a novel. I don’t think so.

You’ve set up a solid sub-structure, the themes are well thought through. The expositions of the main characters have been laid out and the five of them are like meditators in different corners brewing – waiting for their acts, to step out and realise their world.

At this point the structure drops. You need it to figure out a plot, but needs to be held lightly and not confine the characters or scenes to go where they would like to. This is why I am letting the characters breath and stay online when they wish to move.

I’ve pencilled in to give them a kick in June.

  1. I like the thought that you are content to let the characters live and breathe and BE. Too many writers don’t realise that the characters are actually real people, just not physical ones, and need to develop naturally and not be warped by what the writer wants to do with them. It’s what makes TV soaps so terrible.

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