Monday, August 23, 2010

Reading and Inspiration

Over the weekend I read Laura Lippman’s new book, I’d Know You Anywhere. Besides having a super title, it’s a terrific novel. I don’t review books so I’m not going to write anymore about it. Buy it and see for yourself.

However, while reading it I kept hearkening back to the most recent novel I started. They aren’t anything alike, yet there were echoes for me. Especially in structure and time.

But the most important and surprising thing was that it made me want to write. And it made me want to go back to that book and work on it. I felt a little excitement. The Labor Day holiday is coming up and that’s when I always started writing again if I’d taken off the summer. I think I tried to do this last year. Or was that two years ago? I’m too lazy to look back and see, and it really doesn’t matter.

So here’s the the next day my excitement had fizzled. There was still a little piece of me that thought I might do it. But then I reviewed my life now and realized I like not writing and all the things that come with that.

I’ve written about this before: the schedule. I don’t think I could write a novel without one and I don’t want one. A moment ago when I wrote that last sentence I felt a frisson of fear. I think it was fear. During my career I’ve had many months, and sometimes years, when I couldn’t write. Among other reasons, I think I was afraid then. But I always came out of it and wrote again.

I hadn’t thought that this desire/decision to stop writing was connected to anything like fear. And even now that seems absurd. Still, why one day could I be excited enough by something I’d read to make me want to write and the next day not? It’s a bit suspicious.

And I have no answer.