Saturday, January 16, 2010

Prompted by a Bot

There was an email in my spam box just now from Polina. Polina asks in her subject line, "Hey, why do you not write?"

Well. That's a very good question, Polina. Why DO I not write? Because not writing is what I do.

I watched a film called Finding Forrester a few nights ago. The film stars Sean Connery as William Forrester, a reclusive writer who published one critically acclaimed novel, then disappeared. Forrester reluctantly takes under his wing a young black writer, Jamal Wallace, whose talent blossoms under Forrester's mentorship.

One of the scenes that stayed with me was when Forrester tells Jamal that "you write your first draft from the heart, and the second draft from your head."

My problem seems to be writing from my head too much. My head is full of critics who don't want me to write at all. It's funny; the critics think everyone else writes beautifully. The critics believe I have nothing important to say, and above all else, nothing interesting or entertaining.

This is why I do not write, Polina. I could give you a hundred other excuses, but I have given you the most valid reason. So stop emailing me.

6 comments:

Simon said...

I think I may have written to Polina. If she’s from Minsk, and wants to marry an Englishman and live with him in the UK, but needs some money for the fare first, then I certainly have.

Anonymous said...

I think you're an amazing writer. And the things you have to say are interesting and entertaining.
I know that my toughest critic is myself and I'm guessing that is how you feel. You shouldn't let yourself hold you back.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Polina! We don't care what you write about. Sometimes your best stuff is about "nothing".~~~sis

becomingkate said...

I have missed you during my "break". Hope you write more :)

countrygirl005 said...

I love reading your posts! I find all of them interesting mostly because I just love the way that you write! I wish I was half as good at it as you are!

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.