Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Creative Differences

I've been reading a book called REINVENTING THE REST OF OUR LIVES: WOMEN IN SECOND ADULTHOOD by Suzanne Braun Levine. I doubt I'll finish it -- it seems very much aimed at busy career women of a certain socio-economic bracket. In other words, not me.

Also, I don't have to be told to examine my life. I do that all the time. I think it comes with the territory. As I try to figure out my characters' motivations, I often think about my own.

And I keep remembering something I once heard about boomer women and childbirth: "You'd think nobody'd had kids until they came along."

Despite my quibbles, this book does have some interesting parts, and I can relate to elements of it. There was one part that really stood out for me. The author has been an editor of a number of magazines. She lost her job and:

"OK, I thought, I'll become a writer instead.... What I didn't understand then is that, although the elements -- words -- are the same for an editor and a writer, the practice is diametrically opposite. The difference lies in whose words they are. Running a magazine is primarily reactive -- issuing assignments and decisions in response to the need of the publication and the staff, making other people's words work, and talking, talking, talking. Writing is internal: pushing the brain to find new questions and to answer them in compelling ways. And any conversation that takes place is inside your own head. It is profoundly assertive, aggressive work, more active than anything I had done before."

Whoo, Nelly! Assertive? Aggressive? What the --?

But you know, I think she's on to something.

I think it is pretty assertive and yes, aggressive, to say, "I'm going to tell story and I believe I'll do it well enough that people will want to read it."

Romance writer as Amazon.

Yep, I like it!

4 comments:

Kimber Chin said...

Not much of a navel gazer myself.

Reminds me of the violent creation theory.

But yeah, writing is one of the toughest things I've run across. It is so personal. I find it difficult to step back and treat a finished manuscript as a "product".

Margaret Moore said...

So do I. Which is why I have trouble with the marketing stuff. It's not my cuppa at all.

Christine d'Abo said...

I like the idea of being Amazon! It's funny, what she says about writing feels right for me. But not so violent. :)

Anonymous said...

I get the violence; the driven out of bed by the characters because suddenly I know exactly what they are saying and doing and I frantically race to the keyboard, trip over one of the dogs, scrape my shin raw and spill my hot chocolate down my front only to discover that I'm staring a new puppy's accident in the face and by the time I've cleaned it up, the baby is awake for her bottle and diaper change and by the time that is done four more mouths are hungry to be fed and by the time they are sated, school begins and then my morning is shot, and yeah, I could do a violence because not one word is down.

LW