Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Self Evalutation

Because of recent events I've started to reevaluate my life. Last night I was trying to write fiction and couldn't get past a paragraph of writing that had no substance to it. There is no story forming here and I don't know what to do. For now it's just save as a clip on my computer.

In the middle of the pouring rain, he stood with his arms limp at his side. With one eye closed, he leaned his head back and pulled the red scarf off his alabaster neck with spidery fingers. The heavy drops of rain stung the soft skin and he let out a soft whimper. Gutter water pooled around his feet, soaking into his heavy wool socks. His donkey brayed behind him.

By the end of the night I started to write a personal essay, which I was avoiding because I don't want to move into the non-fiction realm. I was successful on writing a good portion and setting up sections to write. The working title is "Thoughts In My Head". Hopefully writing this will be a way for me to figure out what is going on in my own head and will allow me to start writing fiction again.

I spent a good portion of time in the local Barnes and Noble looking at books last night. As I walked in the smell of books was refreshing (I think I may go back tonight just to sit in there). Anyway, my intentions were to look in the philosophy section because I realized, with the help of my coworker, that I just don't know what's going on in my head. I thought that maybe some Kant would help me out. When I picked up one of his books it was interesting, but I didn't see myself actually getting through a whole book of philosophy. I figured I'd just read some Foucault to get the philosophy bug out of me since I already have some of him. I'm thinking that if I do go back tonight that I will just get Kant. I wonder if this is how people who go through a mid-life crisis feel. After I checked out the philosophy section, I meandered over to the self help section. My goodness there are a lot of self help books. There were so many that I lost patience trying to find one on self-doubt. I left that section. In the end I bought Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving, and Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior. I'm particularly excited for the Didion. The book is a drama/memior that she wrote about the death of her husband and her daughter's failing health. I've read some of Didon's work before and enjoy her style. Hopefully Didion will help me figure things out. I have to keep reminding myself that there are much worse things in life than what I'm going through. I had said to a friend "There are mothers who birth stillborns everyday, I'll live." He had said that it was one of the weirdest, most random things he had heard in a while. It's true! There is much more out there than my measly problems. War, famine, drugs etc. are all so much bigger than my identity crisis and issues of the heart.

I'm in the camp that believes that to write one needs to read. I've been reading Red Sorghum by Mo Yan the last couple of weeks. It was recommended by a friend of mine and I want to finish it, but it has been frustrating me. It is in the first person point of view, which I've been opposed of for the last few months, and the tense changes all of the time. I realized last night while trying to write that I'm bitter about the first person because whatever I write is in the first and it all stinks. Jealousy makes me not want to read the first person, though common sense says that I should read as much as I can to better my own writing technique. Hah! I'm determined to finish it, but it's taking me a lot more time than it should.

Other than that, I've just been doing some heavy thinking. I'm not sure where it will lead me sometimes. We'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

The Unconventional Life said...

I've been thinking about you. I've been planning to hit the self help books hard when I go home and then to China. Not really because my life is in a state of self help, but wouldn't it make our lives a whole lot easier if we knew how and why we do what we do? I'm proud of you for making the inner reflection.