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Faulkner's Got My Back

It's been a hard writerly slog the past couple weeks, both mentally and emotionally, but I'm grateful for the image of William Faulkner protecting the sacred circle surrounding my WIP and me.  He's doing a helluva job keeping those demon voices at bay.  Sure, they slip in now and again but with one well-aimed profanity, he sends them running for the hills.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Way to go, Bill! Way to go, Tracy!
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
Thanks, Laurie! I'm envious that you can call him Bill but I guess I should be proud that at least I don't refer to him as Mister Faulkner.

And how are you and your guardian doing these days? (snort, snuffle, stomp)
Aug. 1st, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
It's not like I'd call him that to his face...!

My guardian has had work to do this week, rebuffing renegade doubts.
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
I know. But still.

"Rebuffing renegade doubts." - I like that image!
Jul. 31st, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ahh, Willy. I think he loves his job. : )
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
And you call him Willy! (see my comment to Laurie for clarification).

I don't know if he loves the job but I'm happy having him there.
Jul. 31st, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
I wish I understood this. Am I supposed to? Well, I never did that well with Faulkner either.
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
Sorry, Linda, for sounding cryptic. Maybe this will help clarify a few things:

Funny you should mention not doing so well with Faulkner because I'm currently reading ABSALOM, ABSALOM! and having a really rough time. I keep threatening to quit but can't quite bring myself to give up on it.
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
Oh the guilt, the guilt, the guilt. How did I miss this? Where the heck was I? I feel terrible I'm sitting here all weepy now, after the fact, and I couldn't be part of the strong chain when you needed me. Sigh.

I agree with so much of what you said and so many people expressed it better than I could. I, too, always think of you as the one who knows just the right thing to say to everyone else. In some way it makes sense to me that you can't always do that for yourself, although I wish it were otherwise. And, yes, the more I talk about my work, the more energy and confidence seeps out of me. Just this week I got into a long thing on the phone with my husband who was doing nothing but trying to be supportive as I was reasoning out loud my thought processes. But finally he said, "you got very quiet." and I said, "the more you say, the worse I feel." I didn't understand why but it was true. I needed it to be my own thing and understand it my own way.

The writing thing is so terribly emotional and all consuming. Sometimes it helps me to remember that, in truth, it's a job. And sometimes you need to just push through, forget about what you're feeling, and do the task at hand. Like all those other poor souls in their cubicles. Not everything can be inspired 100% of the time. Sometimes you've just got to get it done. Every so often that helps when there is no other circle of protection.

Fear and anxiety in general is a big one for me. In case that is part of it for you, someone said this last year that I keep going back to: "Fear is focusing on the feeling I can't do it rather than on your vision." I have no idea why this helps me but it does.

I'm glad Faulkner's got your back. He knew the painstaking power of each word.

I so admire that you're finding a way around yourself. It doesn't have to be pretty but it is a beautiful thing.
Aug. 1st, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
No guilt, Linda! Of course you were/are part of the strong chain when I needed/need you. You are a vital link in that chain! You are someone who knows what to say to a fellow writer in need and I'm so glad we've become friends.

I absolutely understand what you were feeling in that conversation with your husband. "I needed it to be my own thing and understand it my own way." EXACTLY! I think men are programmed to solve problems rather than listen and offer unspoken support.

Your cubicle image got to me (in a good way). Maybe when I'm feeling really lousy I can invite myself to my sister-in-law's cubicle and ask if I can hang out there and feel inspired. HA! I think then I'd really and truly know the definition of dread.

That's a good thought about fear. I read another one yesterday that resonated with me: something along the lines of "fear is one thing but to let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another." I like that because it makes me laugh (which loosens the fear's hold on me).

Thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful comments, Linda. I'm sending good writerly thoughts your way.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh, Melodye. Now I remember you wrote asking for clarification about this a few days ago. Apologies for not responding!

I just went back to check and I see that you did read the post in which I first mentioned the concept of a sacred circle around the WIP:

That's all it is. When I sit down to work, I visualize a circle that protects me and the project from outside interference and negativity, and I chose WF to stand guard. I've been really struggling with this project and also wrestling with lots of doubts in general so the circle is a good way for me to keep my grip (as opposed to running off shrieking into the wilderness. I'm still doing lots of shrieking but at least I'm keeping my butt in the chair).

How's it going in your neck of the woods? Still moist?

(Deleted comment)
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Thanks for wondering, Lizzy.

And yes, I've been with Faulkner as he valiantly fought off all those ugly voices. When I get all tweaky that way, I tend to withdraw into myself and so haven't been here much. Not the healthiest approach, I know.

Think I'll pop over to your journal and catch up on Lizzy's world.
Aug. 1st, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
Way to go, Tracy! Hmmm, I could use someone like that. Since Bill's busy guarding your wip, I think I'll hire Hemingway.
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
It's funny, someone else mentioned Hemingway as a good guardian. Bet he wouldn't let anyone/thing near. Go for it!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


a.k.a. Tracy Abell

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