It's been about two weeks since my last writing here — the phrase has the air of confession about it, although it's less confession and more an effort to find someplace to begin. It has been about two weeks since I last wrote here, and with the advent of another year, you would think that returning to the written word would be an anticipated and longed-for event. It's not; it's drudgery. There is no romance this morning at all, none, so that the act of writing feels like the prying open of the writer's private parts, an affront, an assault, violence to the inner being that should be against some law, somewhere.
This is the reality of writing, an effort perhaps made more servile and grievous for having been put aside for a while, making it hard to get back into, although I have been writing elsewhere. Yet, regardless of where and when the writing occurs, there are days like this, whether mamma told us there would be or not, although, in truth, my mother did warn me. On these days, when there seems no redeeming value in the act of writing, we still write. Although lonely, we still hunt, don't we, and peck, and strut and fret our words upon the wretched page. Why? Because we have committed to it. For me, writing days here are set. I've set them, not in stone, but in my heart, that wellspring of life from which all real commitment comes. Yet, it's lonely hunting today, in the grayness of winter, where the days are getting longer, but only on their backsides. Mornings are still dark and short and reluctant.
The irony is that writing on these days where the anger and bitterness show in every line make the writing clearer, crisper and more real, more realistic, like the acid necessary in a good meal, if Top Chef is to be believed. On these days, if the reality of emotion is admitted and transcribed onto the written page, the writing is better, more believable, honest. Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters, a must-read for every writer, aspiring or otherwise, admits as much. Encouraging to hear from someone whose legacy to the art and craft of writing endures, that loneliness doesn't have to destroy the work but can actually serve to strengthen it.