A Day Without Writing Is a Day

Another day over and no writing has been done. A few more pages left to finish Bonjour Tristesse. I used to be able to write like her – that kind of intensity, that lyricism, that sense of wonder. Now I’m not sure who I want to write like, who I write like. I think of Enrique Vila-Matas’ Bartleby and Co. I want something as fragmented and as coherent as that. What I need is a thread going through the story, like the narrator’s grief, a reason why he is researching and writing about these dead painters. His motivation still feels unknown to me, though. The real reason is that I want something to do while not writing – to have a subject to write about while I’m not writing. It’s like I’ve said all I want to say. I’ve done the writer thing. I don’t want more, and yet I have no idea what I do want. Do I have to write in order to find out what I want to write about? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. What’s stopping me from going back to writing the book? It’s big, it’s broad, it’s probably going to be quite good. And that scares me. It’s scope and it’s demands, and it’s invitation to jump right in and be engulfed.

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