Thinking about teaching Mrs. Dalloway, which is one of my favorite books…
It also finds me in a dark mood about writing, and my writing career. It’s hard to continue to work — in the face of so much time elapsing between published projects. I read periodicals, all of which are full of the work of hundreds of other writers, writers other than me, and I find myself thinking: “I could have written that.” And then I wonder: Why didn’t I write that?
I think that the answer is a complicated one. Certainly it involves teaching — although I don’t buy the rationale that teaching shuts down writers. I can still be productive and teach at the same time. And what kind of a writer would I be if the ability to study Mrs. Dalloway with a class shut down my own work?
But I think it’s a combination of teaching/other work, and the fact that I’ve given four years of my writing life to these novels that haven’t made it out of draft form (and, that I think, quite frankly, are quite good, in some way or another). I want so badly for this one — Ask the First Star — to be the one that makes it out of draft form and between two solid covers. Safely between covers.
But admitting desire is admitting weakness, isn’t it? And inciting vulnerability? Damn.