Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Advice Given to a Brilliant Writer who Isn't Writing.


This is advice that I gave to someone I knew long ago (though never all that well, but we're in touch now) who's a brilliant writer who isn't writing. She confessed she wasn't writing because she no longer knew how to say things and that, even if she did, the audience would misinterpret it ...

She wasn't asking for advice. But this is what I said -- more or less:

my suggestion -- on the writing front -- to take or toss -- is not to try to think of readers -- only one reader. and that reader might be a younger version of yourself -- and only whisper what you have to say into that one ear. i would allow for incomplete and pieces (to be assembled later -- or not) ... there's beauty in pieces and in ellipses. you've said you don't know HOW to say anything but you haven't said that you don't have anything to say. i would simply use words. or let them use you. and not think about shape -- not think about the bottle you might one day shove the handmade boat into -- a messed up sweet wild boat, maybe even just the splinters of a boat.
Maybe that will be of use to others...