18 May 2011

On Not Writing Fiction

Looking back over the last two months or so, I see that I have not been writing much fiction on this here Post-it pad of my mind.  I mused on that today during some idle moments without a firm conclusion to explain the data.

The poetry, I think, does not count.  Insofar as I have a theory of poetry, it is my belief that it in its own way is always speaking truths or seeking to illuminate truths.  Or even facts about our overlapping realities.  I agree the language can be elliptical, even solipsistic, but the goal seems to always be a 'Truth'.

Fiction, on the other hand, illuminates truths through plausible lies we as readers want to be told.  Some of the fiction I have written has been very thinly disguised examinations of real life situations or happenings.  Other examples of my fiction, well, they are just plain made up.  Pure unreality.  But prose fiction for me has often been a simple matter of exercise for the mind, the joy of running through a mental forest and up cerebral mountains for the sheer hell or joy of it.

I have to say I enjoy it all.  Yet, lately, the fiction has been scarce.  The reasons elude me.  Vague notions and suppositions seek to fill the void, but none seem satisfactory.  Some of this may stem from my recent reawakened interest in reading fiction.  You read that correctly: reading.  Amazing, innit?

Work and personal matters have me so tied up that I've struggled to keep up the blog writing, the blog reading (sorry, my lovelies; if only I had a time distortion device...) and correspondence.  This vexes me.  I have been advised by more than one source, though, that I need to make sure I set aside some personal time to engage in things that give me juice.  This, as a matter of personal preservation.  Reading is one of those things, and good fiction is the cats' PJ's as far as I am concerned.  So I've made it a point to spend at least a few minutes each night, no matter what, reading something I truly enjoy or something new, that isn't fodder for my geek-based information sensorium.  Maybe it is a reawakened desire to imbibe fiction without the worry of having to produce it.

A side effect has been, as you see, that I am writing less of it.  Which may be a good thing, maybe this is the time to recharge and revive.  After all, conventional writing wisdom says that to be a good writer, one must above all, be a good reader...


  1. I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, etc.) and writing my little heart out.

    Just not blogging very much.

    If sleep and work didn't eat up so much of my life, I could do so much more!

  2. In Stephen King's 'On Writing' reading is one of the themes he constantly hammers the whole way through. Finding those few spare moments a day can be a challenge though.

  3. Reading is more integral to writing than anything I can think of. Once I started reading is when I got the urge to write again because my mind is all a flutter of thoughts and ideas. You'll find your muse soon enough and it will all flow again.

  4. "Fiction, on the other hand, illuminates truths through plausible lies we as readers want to be told." I love that.

    Want to get inspired? Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" knocked me out. So fresh.


  5. Join the club :) when my kids were growing up and my daughter was always sick, I was lucky if I wrote your phone number...I blog once a week, and only follow a few chosen sites now. If I can go over and read others, it is usually writer friends like you, no guilt what so ever...

  6. Whatcha reading?
    I've been reading books more than blogs this year. (You've made the short list of blogs, dude.)

  7. i have a much lovelier time reading now that i see it as a luxury.

    and you must be an amazingly good reader!

  8. To every thing, turn turn turn, there is a season.

    Like reading is to writing, when I'm really inspired by music, I want to pick up my long abandoned guitar and make some sounds.

    There have been many times when I have abandoned my blog because something called to me to do so. It is good to listen to that inner voice. If you were quiet for awhile, we would return when you take up your cyber pen again. Or just blog about the clouds in the sky.....whatever.

    Peace, my friend, and happy reading!!! And yes, I would love to know what you are reading, actually.

  9. You had me at solipsistic. But maybe that's just me being me being me... ;-)

    Being a good writer, I think, involves the habit of being a good reader. I'm currently vacillating between *The World According to Garp*, *The Illuminatus! Trilogy*, and . . . The Onion. Natch.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...