The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fever Thoughts

by Andrew Tibbetts

I moved to Toronto in November. Half a year and it feels like I’ve completely changed. I didn’t really have a social life for many years - and now I’ve got a problematic one. I suppose I expected a perfect one. When you make changes you think of all the good things you want. You don’t think of all the side-effects, of all the price-tags.

A central focus of my life half a year ago was music, movies and books. I spent most of my time alone listening, watching, reading. It was highly comfortable, highly portable and increasingly unsatisfying. So I moved to Toronto and started getting out of the house. If you’ve never dated as a grown-up and you dive back into it, it shouldn’t be a complete surprise to find yourself right where you left off: adolescence. So I’ve had to grow up in the dating realm like all the other realms. Skills aren’t necessarily transferable. Like how, if you learn to cook doesn’t mean you’ve learned to drive. However, I’ve been doing it: learning. I’m largely pleased. Even though I’ve already had a heartbreak and it’s not even summer.

But there are some undesired side-effects of living a real life. I’ve stopped reading, watching movies or listening to music. Almost completely. Last week, however, I came down with an infection and ended up back inside my old life. I lay on the couch watching movies, reading books and listening to music. I have a tiny fear that I’ve forgotten how. I don’t feel as comforted. I don’t feel like I’m basking care-free in the artist’s vision. My own life is tapping on my shoulder- come on! Come ON! Let’s get back out there.

This is having a strange effect on my writing. I have things I want to write about now. Not derived from thinking about other people’s work. Felt-experience that demands to be expressed in some form. But I don’t know how to do it. I used to come at it the other way- I’d discover a technique from another writer (“Wow- I love Delillo’s dialogue here. I’ve got to try something like that!”) and then I’d think up the content to match. Now I have the content but I haven’t a clue how to deliver it. I think it’ll be good for me. I’m guessing. I've actually written very little. And finished nothing. But I feel on the verge of a breakthrough. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Or the fever from my infection.


Blogger tamara said...

Auntie Mame was was right: "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." You'll find the right balance, m'dear. Take care of yourself; and try not to be too hard on yourself!

Wed May 30, 10:27:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

I know I keep saying this, but your writing is the best when you are stressed. Love this.

Wed May 30, 10:43:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

This post is very comforting to me, Andrew since I'm on the other end longing for time alone to think and read and watch films. Your insight will help you find the right balance as Tamara said.

Wed May 30, 11:33:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Life always gets in the way, that's what life is for. Enjoy it! And think of all that new content! Someday it will come up out.

Wed May 30, 02:51:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Oh, if we could only have it all.

Wed May 30, 05:43:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

A little from column A, and a little from column B will do it. Hope you're feeling better.

Wed May 30, 10:39:00 pm GMT-4  

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