Friday, January 22, 2016

Abandon Your Writing

The only perfect aspect of one's writing lies in the silence between the words. All else is approximation.

How well we approximate determines our worth as writers, but to be spot-on requires the words to lead to the silence from which the vision arises.

This is approximately what I meant to say.

I've finished the short story "A Murmuration of Dragons"--at least, I've finished a handful of drafted revisions. It's not quite right yet, so I'm going to abandon it for a while and write something else. Maybe I'll work on another short story, maybe continue with my novel, maybe both.

I'll come back to "Murmuration" when the memory of the words dims and the silence between the words increases. That's where the real story exists. It's there, complete and perfect, like a pristine mountain lake that perfectly reflects the sky. I just have to keep removing or replacing those words that muddy the water; therefore, of course I'll come back and work on the story some more in a few days or a few weeks. I'm giving it time so the mud settles and the silence, the blank spaces between the words, is revealed.

You may read the story as it is. I wiped my feet at the door after my tramp in the mountains, but a little mud (some might say a lot) stuck to my boots. Those footprints before the door--they are mine. They follow me everywhere. I rarely escape them, no matter how hard I try.



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