It should come as no surprise that one of my characters is a novelist. This character, Burt Thompson, is a rough, burly man. Sort of like Ernest Hemingway crossed with Hunter S. Thompson. And yes, that’s where his last name came from…
Burt is the central figure in my second novel, a book called Revisions, which is basically a play more than it is a novel.
Can this get any more complicated? Of course! I’m writing about writing. It can become terribly complex and essentially meaningless.
Or, as Burt would put it:
Just talking about writing is a little like having sex with a potato. It’s strange, pointless, and bound to be a bit uncomfortable no matter how you slice it. Only an aficionado can understand it, and sadly I’m one of them.
More than once during the journey of this site I’ve thought about shutting it down, moving on from the art of writing about writing without writing. But here I am once more, tapping out a missive to the ether and wondering just what it is that draws me to this strange practice.
Certainly, I have stories to write. I have two novels in draft and maybe three or four stories that are in a similar state. I also have a notebook of ideas that need some serious attention. There are always more stories to write, more characters asking me to give them voice.
Of course, I do enjoy a good ramble. Much of what I do here is just stream of consciousness dreaming. You can tell from the typos and perhaps the random potatoes.
So why this ramble?
Burt Thompson has been on my mind a lot of late. Not his novel, but the man as a character, or really an acquaintance (one can hardly call him a friend, he’s a bit acerbic). Though maybe it is more the premise of Burt Thompson that I am drawn to at the moment, a prolific writer who fell upon wordless times.
I’m not entirely sure, which is why I am here writing about it. I suppose this is what draws most of us to writing when we least feel like it. We have questions and only our fingers on the keys can draw out the answers.
Well, it’s either that or potatoes, and frankly, I’m with Burt on that subject.
How often do you find yourself surprised to be writing and how did you get there?