Presents of Mind

On good days the Muse brings me "presents" for my writer's mind to play with. But those days are rare.

Fiction Writer as Broken Navigator

I’ll keep this post mercifully short today because of the density of the topic. No need to make you suffer more than you already do. I just want to say that maybe you can relate: I suffer from chronic restless mind syndrome. Everything in my life is a scrap of something else, and all the scraps are constantly moving about. I live a peripatetic existence. Put another way, I don’t know what continuity means, so I don’t do well with routine or employment or commitment. I loaf and drift and chafe at the thought of some kind of life-long yoke or habit, which includes fiction writing practice. Partly because I suffer from crippling anxiety and partly navigatorbecause I’m utterly lost in a world that is not of my making or doing. Adorno said that the finished work is, in our times and climate of anguish, a lie.

I would add that it’s also a climate of hyper self-absorption, a mass culture of empty screen zombies. We encase ourselves in our houses, or cars, our rarified cafes. The urge is to huddle together and be like everyone else, despite the private, incessant urge to be different. I write this knowing that everyone is an individual, and I’m not saying you do any of these things. I’m saying that the climate as a whole encourages these things. It has fostered a destructive meme that says to think for oneself is to flirt with insanity. I’m not saying you don’t think for yourself nor am I saying you are flirting with insanity.

All the same, I’m convinced that we need to scrap our former definitions of sanity. I’m also convinced that the world of psychiatry is irrevocably corrupt and broken. Let’s be honest. Our old reality is, in a word, finished. Nostalgia is so overrated. And yet. Who doesn’t dream of going home? I mean home in the Rilkean sense. I mean home in the sense of remembering what we’ve all forgotten, but which has never really left us.

So. How does a fiction writer navigate her craft with integrity in such a climate of unrelenting upheaval, uncertainty, and loss? I find this to be quite a profound question, worthy of much reflection and discussion.



2 comments on “Fiction Writer as Broken Navigator

  1. Catrina Sophia
    May 3, 2014

    I totally get you. You’ll find that there are not many willing to have such an honest debate. Because really what we would be accepting is that our outer journey is a constant pull on the inner journey. The inner journey is really the one that we constantly abandon. But it is probably the one we should collectively trying to integrate into the outer facades that we create.

    Anyway, I think your post is spot on.

    Stay True

    Catrina Sophia x

    • inkandpages
      May 4, 2014

      It’s difficult enough to make sense of the substance of our lives, let alone have an honest debate about it. I’m not even sure there’s a difference between the “inner” and “outer” journeys, and even less so any ability to “collectively” integrate them.

Go ahead,

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 3, 2014 by in Writing and tagged , , .
Exequy's Blog

Come to learn


Let us make an exchange - I provide stories, you enjoy them.

Healthy Diet

weight loss and diet tips with recips

Christopher Kokoski

Writing tips, tricks and secrets

Ingrid's Notes

... musings on creative writing and craft ...

Words and Wanderings

Blog of Writer Michelle Mueller

The Ink Stain

Hi everyone! This is my blog, and this is where I post all of my stories. Writing is my favorite thing to do, and I love nothing more than this. I would appreciate it if you took the time to read my stories! If you like the blog, please share it with more people. Thank you!

Dimitris Melicertes

I don't write, I touch without touching.

Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

Culinary Adventures in Paleo Cooking

A Permaculture Design Course Handbook

An Online Reader for the Permaculture Community

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Dark Humor Collective

Short fiction by Chaunce Stanton for funny people

A fool with a pen

The one thing more dangerous than a fool...


Picture a ball with sharp corners. That's me.


Articles all over the world

Old World Garden Farms

Gardening, Cooking, Canning, And A DIY Approach To Living!

Mama Ruthie's Garden

A year spent digging in the dirt.

Write to Wrestle

Live. Think. Learn. Dream. Create. Write.


A random collection of musings, shenanigans, and literary tomfoolery

Food Family and Future

An adventure in gardening for food, sustainability and family fun.

Brenna Layne

"Only connect." -E.M. Forster

The Zero-Waste Chef

No packaging. No trash (to speak of). Everything from scratch.

Uncivilized Animals

"We are lost, but other animals point to the right road. They are the right road." -John Zerzan

World Organic News

Bringing you the latest in ideas, technologies and methods


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,526 other followers

%d bloggers like this: