“ … I want to show you that the creative impulse is quiet, quiet. It sees, it feels, it quietly hears: and now, in the present… It is when you are really living in the present that you are living spiritually, with the imagination.”
Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write
A friend of mine has become stuck halfway through writing a novel. The story so far is very good. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Since she’s temporarily stuck, and also unwilling to tell me what happens, I wait impatiently for her to continue.
She says she wants me to be a cheerleader. I’m a lousy cheerleader. In fact, I (so unkindly) have always hated cheer leading and cheerleaders. I have a phobia about pompoms.
What I really would like to do is, shake her by her shoulders and yell at her to “get on with it”. I have to know what happens next. I have to know what the main characters say, or do, or experience. Selfishly, I fail to understand completely why my friend has, at the point in time, chosen to have this crisis. Can’t she see there is a story waiting to be told?
Can’t she just jump over all of this internal uncertainty, the barrage of family obligations, her pursuit of living a balanced life (ha, who manages such a thing anyways?), and sit down and concentrate and write the rest of the story, so that I can finally read more? I want her to write and write and write, so that I never have to stop reading. I want to live close by her characters for a long time to come.
So, as a means to an end, sigh, I am on my way out the door to buy some pompoms. I’ve already made up some silly rhyming cheers. My desperation knows no bounds.