Your Soul in Print

Friday, December 11, 2009

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I've taken a bit of a break of late.  Life's been hectic and it's been easier to read the works of others than to use words of my own.  But hopefully my little mental reprieve is coming to an end. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm still reading, and plenty.  It's a happy addiction that I have no plans of curbing.  I've finally come to The Dark Tower, the final volume in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, and it is every bit as enthralling as the rest.  Of course, having recently finished Song of Susannah (book VI of the series, ya' ken), I now understand more fully than ever before just how very personal this story is to King.  That realization (underlined, bolded and lit up with crimson neon) made my heart actually go out to this man whom I have never met but whose works I have been following for nigh on 17 years (not quite 19, but nearly, very nearly).  Because I get it.  At least I think I do.  I understand that these words we write, fictional or not, these are pieces of our souls, on paper and in print for the world to see and live vicariously through.  I get the compulsion – the feeling that you can't not write it down, write something, by the gods.  And I understand how painful the process can be – the mind-numbing task of getting it all out, of taking it from the concept that seemed to explode in your head one day down to written words on paper, and trying for all you're worth to get it perfect, to do the story justice, for God's sake.  All you can do is get the words down through your own fumbling human hands, filtered through your limited human experience and your never-completely-adequate vocabulary.  When it's big, when it matters to you, sitting down to the computer (or to the blank page with ink pen in hand) is like going to church or entering the sacred circle, performing your sacred duty, and giving thanks to your muse (or whatever you call the place where your inspiration comes from) while simultaneously hoping they picked the right schmuck to interpret this beautiful (or horrible or devastating or hilarious… in the end, they're all beautiful) tale. 

Sai King, if it's like this for you, if it is still, then I get it. 

And so I wander through my own wooded forest; a place strange and unfamiliar, where the landscape can change at a moment's notice and the light is tricky; the land of the unfinished story.  It's been slow going and may take another year yet just to get it all down, between the full time job and the mental dry spells, but what choice do I have?  As I said before, there's that compulsion, that inability to turn away from that fascinating shimmer that is your story, even when the going is hard and the visibility is nil.  It's got me, this one, so I'll keep plodding along until I find my way to the end. 

In the mean time, I have my blog to make note of my observations.  In the future, I'll try to be more consistent with my reports.  I hope you don't get too impatient.  When the mind wanders, it sometimes takes the scenic route back.