Friday, August 13, 2010

Simmering just below the surface

So what do you do when someone has already written your book, has had huge success by doing so, and then gets to be played by Julia Roberts in the major motion picture? What writer, or woman for that matter, hasn’t dreamed of being played by Julia Roberts?

Take sip of wine. Wait for more inspiration.


I guess I should clarify. I am not divorced, nor have I eaten in Italy, prayed in India, or loved in Indonesia. So no, Elizabeth Gilbert did not steal my life story. But she wrote the book about female redemption and falling in love with yourself that has been inside of me for way too long.

Why haven’t I written it you ask? Because I’m still too arrogant and ego driven to do it justice, frankly. I still want every wisdom-filled thought and every brilliant moment of dialogue to come from her (my main character). I want every other character to be in awe of her, despite the fact that she is utterly in shambles and can barely see through her tears. I want her to be the heroine that even heroines adore. Ugh, how self-indulgent is that.

But I still can’t get past it. So I marinate. And marinate some more. And I keep thinking that at some point I will be in the right space, and it will be the right time. Suddenly it will erupt from me like Mt. Vesuvius and all will stand in awe of this magnificent thing that has been created for all to enjoy – by me. Ugh some more. I’m annoyed with myself.

I wonder why, now that I have diagnosed this pitiful arrogance, why is it that I cannot move past it? Why can’t I write and do justice to a whole host of characters that are just waiting, hopefully not in vain, for me to put them down on paper. Why does she have to be the only one who offers up worthy material?

And why does writing come easier when you have a glass of wine to lean on? Wayne Dyer just told me today that until I stop drinking, I cannot get closer to what it is I’m trying to get close to. That the doors will not open until the alcohol is gone. Clarification once again: I never drink. In the past month I have had 3 drinks. Four if you count the one sitting next to me, but I was referring to the month that ended yesterday. The rare time you’ll find me with a drink in my hand is because I like the ritual of it. The idea. But I do know that my body does not like the ritual, and so I abstain most of the time.

I want to eat in Italy, pray in India and love in Indonesia. I want to see the world and taste and hug it. I don’t want to die with my music in me. But sometimes I just don’t have any clue how to compose what it is I’m trying to do here. I don’t know how to string it all together so that it all makes sense. So that I’m making enough money to do the traveling that I want to do, yet spending time with myself, working on the things I need to emotionally and spiritually work on. I loathe doing work that I don’t like; trouble is I have yet to find actual work that I like. So I continue to freelance, doing things that will mostly pay the bills. Assisting prop stylists, working at photo studios, Saturdays decorating for other people’s weddings. And then waiting for checks.

I’ve lost my mojo.

I’m writing a book for someone else. A real book contract, my first. I have a little over a month left to finish it. It’s going well, but seeing as that I have never written an entire book before, I really don’t know if it’s actually going well.

I keep thinking, and hoping, that when this book is finished and published, that perhaps my issues of writing my own novel will abate. The idea is, that once this book is done, I will have actually written a book. No denying that. And maybe that will make me feel less terrified of writing my book.

I’ve written a lot of it. I took a year off of working to do so. But I’ve grown leaps and bounds since then and honestly feel that I have to start from scratch. Most of what I wrote came from a place of fear. The fear of not writing since everyone knew I had taken a year off to write my great American novel. Everyone was expecting it. So I wrote. But the problem was I was not true to myself in the journey that I allowed her to take.

I did things for the sake of doing them. They did not further her or her story. And in reality, they were disrespectful of her. So now I’m back to square one.

I feel myself growing closer. I’m writing again for one thing, and I recognize how monumental that is. My lack of discipline hinders me. But I’m working on it. And have made strides that I’m indeed proud of.

I will eat in Italy. I will pray in India. And I will love in Indonesia. But more than all of that, someday I hope to give Elizabeth a hug and thank her for writing her book. Not mine, hers. Mine is still in me. But unfortunately Julia has grown a tad too old to play me.

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