Sunday, July 31, 2011

Audience Participation

I'm quite lucky to live where I do, currently -- although this won't be for much longer (less than a month, at last count). One of the nicest things about this place is the fact that it is an area of native bush; although this is being somewhat eroded by subdivisions and idiot building plans, the areas of forest that currently exist are not generally able to be touched, and therefore it means it's a very nice neighbourhood to go for long walks in.

I didn't always take advantage of that, but because I now live in constant terror of blowing up like a blueberry a la Violet Beauregarde, every Saturday and Sunday I go walking. (I would do it during the week, but because of the short days and very dark country roads around here I am confined to my stationary bike and Zumba DVDs unless I want to be wiped out by a 4WD.) I find the walking to be soothing, not least because my usual soundtrack is ambient music from Tomb Raider, Zork: Nemesis, Riven and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I tend to think a lot about writing as I walk, which is both good and bad because I've lost a lot of lovely dialogue this way. But still, as I wandered today, I got to thinking...and I wandered a lot today, as I discovered a reserve I'd never bothered to venture into before, and then I walked much further east than is my usual wont. And then, because the hiking boots I wore in Mexico are basically a bust and I am thinking of maybe going to South Africa, I went and bought a new pair and therefore had to go on another walk this afternoon to break them in. I don't even know anymore.

All this walking obviously ate into any writing time I had, but I've been having weird thoughts about writing anyway. I'm essentially quite deeply depressed anyway; I'm scared as hell of moving, as I am convinced I will end up facedown in a gutter in Chiswick being poked by hobos with sticks sharpened at both ends. Yet if I stay here, in the words of Matt Stone, I will end up hanging by my neck in my f*cking closet. But even my writing depresses me, because I just realised how much I write -- and how little I show people. I'm just so damn scared all the time, and even though I do read back what I write? I am so terrified of rejection that I just can't bring myself to show things to people. And yet the greatest joy in writing for me isn't the writing itself, as much as I love it -- it's talking about it with people, hearing their comments, seeing how they see it. That's what brings it to life for me, and right now I feel like I am in complete purgatory.

So...yes. This was an unnecessarily depressing entry. I think I need an early night.


  1. Hey Claire,

    I think that your walks are enhancing your writing, not taking time away from them. Thinking about the writing is always good; I do a ton of thinking.

    By the way? I'm terrified of rejection too. But I love to talk about writing. Mine, others', the craft in general. The Wall of Shame thread on the forum is great for that -- I get to talk about what I'm doing without (frequently) showing any of it. [g] Although, at the end of the month (gasp! TODAY?) we get to show a snip of up to 300 words to back up all the blabbing we've done all month about it. [g] You might want to jump into that thread - it's really supportive.

  2. Thanks! <3 I know what you mean about the talking about writing, certainly; writing's such a lonely business that when we can reach out and talk to others, it's such a damned relief to know we're not the only ones with characters and plots and whatnot swirling around our heads all the time. :D ...although the walking helps me sort out those swirls, too. ^_~ I am thinking I ought to spend more time in those sorts of threads, reminding myself of why I write...which is simply because I love stories. But then, don't we all...? ^__^