This is one of those quotes that's both comforting and infuriating.
Comforting, because it totally tallies with my own experience. And I tend to assume that I'm crazy, or doing things wrong, and this was a big vote for You're-normal-like-other-writers-are-normal.
But infuriating too. Because it keeps coming true, and I don't want it to come true.
Frankly, I'd like to have a big splashy full life (think long dinner table outside surrounded by family and friends and huuuuge platters of food, Italian style), and a big splashy full writing career (a lot of published novels on the shelf, a lot).
I'm the kid at the candy counter saying, "I want two of each!! With extra chocolate!!"
I read writing memoirs and interviews with writers, trying to figure out how they do it, if they do it.
And actually, this quote encapsulates the reason why I started this blog.
I've had many days and weeks where it seemed like all I did was write. Which was, in some ways, completely awesome. But I started to feel a bit unbalanced. All my descriptions of people and actions... they started to feel a little unreal, a bit weird. Disconnected. The most basic setting descriptions sounded like I'd never actually seen a tree, never walked through woods.
I needed to get back out in the real world. There are three dimensions out there! Fresh air! Imagine it...
But then there's the last year and a half or so, when I've been doing less writing, and a lot more living--especially survival-style living, getting through one difficult season after another. My experience storehouses are pretty full, in a certain way... But my writing style is rusty, cliches are ever at my fingertips, and my scenes feel cramped and uneasy in their pacing.
I'm out of practice. And it stinks.
I want to learn how to thwart this paradox. I want to find ways to do both. To find a fine balance between soaking up the real world and pouring it back out on paper.
Breathing in life, exhaling prose.
Today's the last day of these Thirty Days of Good Advice. And I don't know about you, but I'm all fired up and excited for what's next. The living, and the writing. And the things I learn in the tension of the paradox.
The writer's paradox: You can't write without living fully, and you can't live fully and still find time to write. -- Monica Wood