Every time I go back to my book – volume II in progress – after an absence (due to travelling for work, teaching on line, writing other material, living), I feel like I´m jumping into the the deepest ocean, not sure if I´ll be able to return to dry land.
The temptation to leave a testament, in case I don´t return from Wonder*Land or I do with a severely altered brain, comes back to haunt me, pulling my feet while I (try to) sleep. I leave all work and personal matters solved or on standby, uncomfortably sitting on a shelf I´ll return to once I´m back from the writing (diving).
It´s known we cannot remain, simultaneously, deep under water and at the surface, but that´s exactly what I try to do with difficulty and exhaustion. There´s a reason why writers usually have a wife – hello, Sofia Tolstoy! – or, less frequently, a husband who takes care of “normal life” while they´re free to dive into writing and get lost in there. One becomes inapt to deal with the ordinary world – at least I do.
Coming in and out of the ocean is not easy: we start living inside the characters we´re creating; we brood over dialogues, solutions for scenes, another angle – more accurate, original, revealing -, a thought or two that might change the narrator´s speech or the whole story.
We´re around real people – our family, friends, partners, lovers – but we´re not fully present. Again, I speak for myself: I am around but I´m absent while I´m in deep writing mode. My world becomes populated by elements that take charge, absorbing all my thoughts, feelings and interest. As if dance was not enough, now comes writing to take my feet off the ground a little bit more. As if needed the lift!
In the process of writing a book – or 3 books, in this case -, getting comfortable with the concept of Not Knowing is essencial.
I don´t know how to write and yet I do. I´m writing the book. Impulse by impulse, word by word, phrase by phrase, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter. When I look back and read what´s already written I have a hard time believing I was the one who did it and the readers who will, soon enough, read it will probably have the same impression.
-I´m a dancer, for God´s sake! Am I not? – Says the girl who refuses labels.
I don´t know what comes next. Although the story line for this book is already established – it´s based on real life events -, I´m writing it as a work of fiction which means I´m free to recreate reality, imagine dialogues and characters. Some from direct experience, others from my imagination. You know what? I can hardly tell the difference between the first and the second.
I don´t know if I´ll nail the next chapter. In fact, I doubt myself constantly. I´m not a writer. Dance is – sort of -my comfort zone while writing is a new challenge, one for which I often feel unprepared.
It takes a lot of guts, confidence and madness to make something like this happen – not knowing how, the ship moves forward.
I don´t know if all the hours, energy and focus I´m putting in this book will end up completely ignored once the book is published. That´s a possibility – it has happened to a lot of awesome literary pieces. Some authors became desperate, drunk, suicidal; others continued writing. Whatever happens, the journey – MY JOURNEY – is about writing it. Publishing, and the eventual success or failure of the book, is something mostly out of my hands and, therefore, not of my particular interest.
I don´t know much. But, as Emily Dickinson put it, I dwell in possibility. And in mystery. And, mostly, in love.