Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On writing, again

I finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's a book that will stay close to my heart forever. There are few books that do that, most slip through my mind like water off a rock. Many times I've gone to the library and made it half way through a book only to realize that the sense of deja vu is actually not, I have read it before.

But like Life of Pi, What Girls Learn, a few things by Stephen King, and my Dale Carnegie books (I never said I wasn't a geek), EPL touched my heart deeply.

(Oddly enough, I was reading three books at the same time; EPL, French by Heart, and The Alchemist, and all three compliment each other quite nicely.)

I think it's a case of on one hand envying the author for her life; it's like she stole my playing card (except it's the one I don't play, it's the one in my back pocket). The one where my life consists of glamour and travel and I really did become a journalist, traveling all over the world and writing for a living. The one where I go off to India on a spiritual journey. The one where I have a place in New York city and a comfort level in California (except mine would be Vancouver). The one where I had the luxury of time and the latitude of introspection to devote an entire year to self discovery.

On the other hand I envy her the loveliness of her prose, the perfect structure of her sentence. Her ability to write about things so deeply and with such meaning that it played like music in my head. And in the next breath her voice was wry and her wit was light and just right and fit just perfectly. Perfectly.

I fancy myself a writer, it's been all my life that I felt this way, but only recently that I believed it. Bit of a conundrum I've faced, but I'm not sure that artists were valued so much in the climate I was settled into; I sort of assumed that it would be best to get one of those Real Jobs. I hid out for a while, in restaurants, where no one ties you to a desk and a person is surrounded by youth (and unscrupulous other people, so it turned out) and tried out the Desk Job and realized that I am no good at it. And that is just fine.

But, and I know all writers feel this way, when I read what Elizabeth Gilbert has to say and how she says it I take a big gulp and remind myself that it's okay, I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to be her.

Writing makes me happy. Even if no one ever reads what I write, it's always been the thing that I go to. Thank god I remembered.


tasha said...

i love reading your blog. i read it everyday. :) Im writing on here becasue im lost... you have lots of intellegent women and men reading your blog. and i need some advise. im in that place where i dont know what im going to be. i have tried a career and it didnt work out for me. I have tried school and well i did good but i found it boring. I have had a week of doing nothing but applying for jobs that i really dont want. I know what im good at but being an artist and being creative and having an imagination does not get you to far. i need a way to take all of this and make a career that i love.
thanks tash

spinregina said...

oh Tash, it's quite something when you're stumbling around a bit, trying to figure it all out. I know. all I can tell you is what worked (is working) for me. look so deep down into yourself and find the thing that, at the core of your being, resonates. and then take that thing and make it into your work. hardest/easiest thing you can ever do. truly. try reading The Alchemist. do lots of yoga. run. and remember, when it's sucking, that everybody has to figure this out.

p.s. thanks for reading.

lotusloq said...

I may have to read EPL. It sounds good. More than good. I loved Life of Pi and The Alchemist. French by Heart was particularly poignant for me because of my time in France. I think we have similar tastes.

spinregina said...

It's more than good. WAY more. What are you reading now?