My name's Dave. I'm working on it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sigur Rós and the First Kiss

I just finished one of my longest stretches of writing yet, managing to get down 4,001 words over the course of the night. It began slowly and painfully, as usual. It's frustrating when I feel I have no choice but to write pretty much straight autobiography, with only the names and a few other minor details changed. I hate doing this; it's always been my goal to move away from my own life and into the greater world of fiction. In my future revisions, I certainly plan to make it far less "about me" than it is now. But I accept it as inevitable from a beginner's standpoint.
I kept writing, and eventually came to the scene where my character and the woman he loves have their first kiss. I wrote it only slightly differently from how it occurred in real life. I lived those moments again in my head as the words came out of me and onto the page, and as I described it I felt my heartrate increase and my blood warm. The sounds of Sigur Rós filling me up with memories, just as they had acted as the score to that scene in reality. I went through it, with the guitars and drums crashing, wavelike, over me; the scene took on a momentum that would not let me stop. I had long since passed my goal for the day, but I felt the need to complete the scene, to let it exist in all its messiness and detail. The songs lifted me up and held me tightly as I wrote.
When it was over, I stared at the screen, shaking ever so slightly. I did not cry; but somewhere inside there was this sadness and joy at remembering the feeling so vividly. I felt overwhelmed. It has been a long time since writing had this effect on me; certainly the first since I began this novel.
I know that when I go back to re-write the book, the details will change. The scene itself will likely change. But the emotions will remain. The heart of the story is there. The moment when the dream seemed real enough to taste.
I am tired and happy; it feels to me now that the end is in sight. I can put the rest of the pieces down easily, and then rest my feet and hands as this crazy and amazing process comes to its conclusion.
It may turn out to be awful, and it may not, but I cannot deny that the act of simply doing this has given me the permission I have always needed: to believe, in my heart, that I am a writer. Doing it, good or bad, has allowed me to believe it, for the first time. This is magical. This is worth any price. It will never leave me.
I'll drink to that, and let sleep take me anywhere it likes.

No comments:

Post a Comment