Saturday, September 27, 2014

Meditation on Writer's Doubt

Why do we doubt?  It's a double-take, like, hmmm, is this really happening?  Am I really going to make this happen?  Perhaps I'll just stay here where I am all cozy in bed with my fears of not being good enough.  Then I can suffer and blame everything else for holding me back, including this bed.   No more dreaded responsibility of thinking pure thoughts and writing them down.  And by pure I mean pure like sharp cold icicles or the unfiltered burning sun - not the pure virgin down the street who is naive and ignorant.  But perhaps her too because her ignorance is so pure.

I want to more effectively use my doubt or sense of judgement to chisel my word collages, my splatter books, my line by line letter arrangements.  Discernment, as my Buddhist teacher says.   Or even, just let the chips fall where they may and let the ideas fall into place like tetris don't over-turn them.

I found you because I have been feeling insecure about sharing my book with my beta-readers.  They all ask me about it now because I've talked it up much.  Do I have to share it with them?  What?!!  Then they will all know who I am, or who I was when I wrote the book over the course of a year.  It's so much more convenient to lead them all to believe that I am very good.  Very superficial.   Well dressed.  Well turned.  They'll have no doubt as to my impeccable taste.  But if they read my prose, full of black smoke and pennies with a hole in it and female lust and human longing and the reconciliation of our hopes into certain realities, then they will doubt.  They will know my own doubt.  She's a doubting Thomas, they will say.  She knows too much.  She knows nothing but the dark side.  Why?  Why isn't she more positive for Lord's sake.  Then they will smile and turn to me and say:

-I liked it!
-It was fascinating!
-Did this really happen to you?
-She was a victim!
-Why is she so angry?
-Why is she so pathetic?

And I will stand there stoically.  Oh?  Really?  Good.  That's fine then.  I will no longer doubt the double-facedness of your humanity.

My doubts?  I doubt Doubt.  It resembles debt.  I have debts so I doubt.  I dabble in doubt.  I have a draught in doubt.  I'll take a cold draught.  Are you daft?  Is there a draft in here?  It's cold.  Delightful doubt, embrace me.  Look doubt in the face and spit.  Surprise your doubt.  Call her Mrs. Doubtfire and  dress her neck in a leather belt.  See what happens.  Wallow in your doubt but only from 11:11 to 11:14.  All other times kick the doubt about and shout:  Dubious, dubious doubts you're out.  Then set about to work it out with pen in hand or fingers clacking or with your nose-held pencil that you cherish.  The words are only conceptual.  Actually everything is conceptual especially your doubt which we've now forgotten about because we're about to get started on the letters that form words that signify those hacking emotions jumbled about in your big old belly mixing with the jellymold.  Which is why they won't come out just right - but oh.  That's your doubt too.  Where art thou, spontaneity?  Where are thou, muse?  Don't tell me your muse is doubt too?

Spontaneous combustion that's what you are when you flare up with your nostrils raring to go, to jot down some doodles about a boy, a girl, an adult human or a dog or a fish or something that is consciousness totally disembodied.  Just a woohoo spirit, a candle in the wind, which will extinguish, extinguishing all the doubt that resides in you.


Blogger Debra said...

Tell it Mama! Tell it like it is.
All the best in everything.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Mama said...

Thanks Debra, you too! :)

9:20 AM  

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