At the beginning of December I read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver in 3 days while recovering from surgery.  The only thing I could do was read.  I was astounded by her book – not blindly astounded, because I do have some criticism (like the depiction of the character of Rachel, the eldest daughter, was not humane – she c(sh)ouldn’t have been THAT shallow, that bad).    I was simply astounded in the sheer work it took to get something that realistic in terms of the socio-political/economic situation in the Congo (well, really the world) – yet still in fiction form – out.  Wow, she’s a powerful, strong, muscled writer.

I say this as I’m struggling to understand that writing is really hard work – sweat and all.  I think I had been flying by on inspiration on all my previous success in turning out little things here and there.  But to write something whole and big and substantial is as terrifying as giving birth for the first time.

I fear the one book I’m concentrating all my energy on right now is shallow and deplete of any contribution to the world.  But I so enjoy writing it.  Does that mean I’m shallow and ditzy (’cause the book is)?

The other two should hold my attention more.  One more than the other because it has the job of shifting people’s thinking in a monumental way (it was going to try to be one of those books).  It had such a lofty, precise goal that I kept trying to plot it and plan it just so – that I lost interest in it for a long while.  And then I read Kingsolver and saw that I was in no way fit to enter the league of writers of those books.

The third book is about a topic I know nothing about, am scared of and just writing because I’m recording a saga I’ve told over the years to my daughter and nieces and since it was their ultimate favorite from all other told stories, I undertook the duty of duly recording it.  But it’s one thing to make the kids you love believe you’re an expert on something you know nothing about and another to convince the rest of kiddom.  And the research makes me squirm and squeal.

So that’s it for my writing whinefest.  Back to my ditzy novel.

Advertisements