I just read in the news that author Philip Roth is ‘done with writing’. I had to laugh because my first thought was, ‘that’s what you think’ followed by ‘but is writing done with you?’.
The sequel to the Memory Keeper is done. The first draft actually. Which means now it sits for a while and then I start the editing process. This story was a struggle from beginning to end and I am very happy to have it on paper. I had to remind myself often that this was the first new thing I’d written since cancer, and the first thing after a two-year break. The break was due to the fallout from radiation and many times I thought writing would never come back. So while this first draft is very rough and there will be a lot of editing to do, I am so relieved that I finished. That writing not only returned but stuck around.
Now I have a new idea that I’m excited about. You know that feeling…when the idea has been kind of simmering in the background and now your fingers are just itching to get going. I had to force myself to not rush the ending on that sequel just to get it done so I could move on to what is going to be fun. I had to rein in that strong urge, that strange force that seems to push the story into you until you have to let it out through your fingers or your brain will explode.
Which leads me back to Philip Roth. I wonder how a person can make a conscious decision to quit something that is part of your creative psyche. It’s not like he’s going to now move through life and not see stories everywhere. So what will he do with those stories if he’s not going to be their channel to the page?
I wonder that with all forms of art. Can a painter decide one day to simply quit? Will their eyes no longer see beauty? I actually interviewed an artist who no longer paints and she told me she quit because she no longer felt the need to possess. That painting, to her, was capturing and holding. So obviously some people can shut off that creativity.
But writing? Maybe stories can leave a person, but I question a person being able to leave a story. Seems like they ‘d just spontaneously explode. Hope someone keeps an eye on Mr. Roth.
No particular connection between the photo below and this post. Other than it’s the perfect spot to write and across the road from my house.