Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heh. Indeed.

I know quite a few folks for whom Garrison Keillor's Latest Column at is going to have a lot of meaning. An excerpt:

And when the book is done, which it will be, and it's in the bookstore, people ask, "How does it feel?" You say, "Great!" but that's not true. You feel relief, and disbelief, and a sort of sorrow that it's gone and what will you do with your life now? Also there is that long passage in the sixth chapter that you meant to rewrite and did not and now you know you should have. And there is that typo. The publisher sent you a copy of the book hot off the press and you opened it at random and there it is, the word "releif" -- God showing you that no matter how hard you try, you still fall short. Humility comes with the territory.


My advice is to get out of the house and take a walk, a good first cure for the depression that hits after you've been working for a year and it dawns on you that your book is not "Huckleberry Finn" but you must finish it anyway because the publisher's generous advance has been spent on a new pair of shoes for the baby and she has worn a hole in them already, so you press on -- on -- on -- though it strikes you that the world has a great many books already and does it need yours? And the readers you most want (youth) are fixated on screens, not on paper. This is so depressing you want to tie a rock to your ankle and jump in the Mississippi, and if you remembered how to tie the knots that could hold a rock you might, but a long walk can bring you around.

Tell it, Brother Keillor! Check out the whole article. You may have to endure a brief ad if you're not aa Salon subscriber, but it's definitely worth it.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

A long walk is some of the best therapy a writer can get at any stage of the project.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You see, that's why I haven't even cracked the cover on my copy of SC. I'm afraid...