Stephen Stratford is writing. You know he will be in the home stretch when he Twitpics bourbon or reaches for an awkward metaphor like "zebra hunting."
In the last month I re-read Woodward and Bernstein's All The President's Men and watched the movie (yet) again. Screenwriter William Goldman is always good on the writing process:
"One of the things I love to do when I work with young writers is to disabuse them of the notion that I know what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm writing a script now, and as we are speaking, I am looking at my computer, tearing out my hair, thinking, well, is this horrible, or is this going to work? I don't know. Storytelling is always tricky."I been reading many comments from authors about their mid-career anxieties -- what's the point, maybe it's all over, etc. Writers feel that every day, even the Nobel Prize winners. Writes Kevin Rabalais of Ernest Hemingway:
Once the 1930s rolled around, many critics believed he had seen his day, and by 1954, the year of the aeroplane crashes and Nobel announcement, he had become, for many, a parody. Following his suicide, Time magazine reported on the life "which led Hemingway himself not only to some mechanical, self-consciously 'Hemingway' writing, but to a self-conscious 'Hemingway' style of life". That life grew increasingly desperate after the crashes from which, writes [biographer Paul] Hendrickson, "he never really recovered in either his body or mind".Writing is a lonely full-time job that doesn't pay very much. But the solitude of the task is balanced by the way fiction taps into and feeds the continuum. In the New York Times last year Pixar's John Lasseter summed this up in a story about Steve Jobs summing it up:
Steve Jobs and I were very close, and early on when I was making "Toy Story" we started talking and he said, "John, you know at Apple when I make computers, what is the lifespan of this product, two years, three years at the most, and then about five years, they're like a doorstop. But if you do your job right, these films can last forever."On hiPod-rotate: Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine. In 2005 she explained the four-year break between her second and third albums to Rolling Stone:
"The first couple of years, I didn't have anything left in me to write about. That was a good thing, because it meant I'd done my job on the last batch of songs. I was riding a wave of independence. I wasn't trying to write; I just figured if the songs came to me, they came to me, and if not, 'Oh, well, it's been fun.'"That's a pretty lovely way of thinking about it.