Friday, August 6, 2010

Writing Like Carrying Stones

People think writing a more commercial novel is easier than a more literary novel. (I think that depends on the writer's way of seeing and thinking and imagining the world. And it's best o keep in mind that writing any kind of novel can turn into bear wrestling -- when you least expect it.) Both kinds of writing have their burdens, that's what I mean. Like carrying stones on your back, the weight's not lighter or heavier; it just rests on different shoulders. The key is knowing what shoulder you should be using -- and some of the writers I admire most use both.

I have now officially stretched the writing-is-like-carrying-a-sack-of-stones metaphor to its limit. I'd like to go on to say that the stones can fill with helium and the sack can billow with air and lift you up, every once in a while, and land you where you need to land. But, see, I just don't have that kind of fluff in me today. My shoulders are tired.

Feel free to rip all of this up if it doesn't suit you.