Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Write What You Know"

I was just reading Islands in the Stream, the part where David is trying to land a big, friggin' fish. I've got to confess that a lot of Hemingway's fish-catching sequences bore the hell out of me, but then my idea of communing with nature is walking through a well-tended garden on the way to a cool drink somewhere. What I respect about Hemingway, though, is that he found several things about which he was very passionate about, and learned how to write about them well: fishing, bullfighting, tossing the bull in Paris, walking the trail in the American West.

I have several things I am passionate about, and of those things, I can write tolerably well, but I haven't written fiction in a long time, and isn't a Serious Writer supposed to write the Great American Novel, or whatever? I need to practice more, and consider writing for fun again. Most of my writing is nonfiction now: space hardware, politics, business communications, marketing for the science cheerleaders, and of course whatever strikes my mind when I'm in my journal or writing for this blog.

The ISDC really drained me, socially and creatively, so I'm reading for pleasure again--"refilling the well," as I've heard it described--and it is a pleasure. Perhaps if I relearn to read for pleasure, I can write for pleasure again as well. Both of those require quiet, time to myself. I'm getting those, I just need more time. Given enough time to myself, I might even learn to like most of Hemingway again. Maybe. :-)

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