I’m poised to start in on a writing project but having a hard time crossing the threshold. Dithering. Do I really want to launch into the international thriller I have outlined? Or should I try something more literary? A memoir? A novel based on my own coming of age? I started jotting down notes about dorm life in 1967, but then it was way more fun to actually go out and find two of my ex-roommates on Facebook.
So many possibilities, so little audience.
But to everything there is a season, right? A time to wrestle with the muse; a time to market the product. A time to receive the gift; a time to give it away.
Advice from Allen Ginsberg:
The cure for [being embarrassed by your spontaneous writing] is to write things down which you will not publish and which you won’t show people. To write secretly… so you can actually be free to say anything you want…
It means abandoning being a poet [or author], abandoning your careerism, abandoning even the idea of writing any poetry [or prose], really abandoning, giving up as hopeless — abandoning the possibility of really expressing yourself to the nations of the world. Abandoning the idea of being a prophet with honor and dignity, and abandoning the glory of poetry [or prose] and just settling down in the muck of your own mind… You really have to make a resolution just to write for yourself…, in the sense of not writing to impress yourself, but just writing what your self is saying. [quoted in The Gift by Lewis Hyde]
Or maybe I should take a walk… dust… organize some more stuff for Ebay… pick up some groceries…