2 min read

Longing and feeling, racism and truth, running and sweeping

Originally published January 18, 2021

My thoughts were pretty murky and muddy this past week. Remember, I’ll be online in the comments for the next hour. I’d love to continue the conversation with you. If you have anything to add, a counterpoint, a question -- post it :)

How is this connected?

1 & 6: The Danger of being talented and Writing as sweeping

Murakami says, because he isn't naturally talented he’s had to get good at tapping the creative well. King says he likes thinking about writing as sweeping. Hearing this is relieving: I can sweep. I can chip away.

2 & 3: Longing and The first 5k of the run is always hardest

Before I started running I thought that eventually the beginning of a run would get easier. And then, in my early runs, I longed for the future when I would be a ‘real’ runner. But now, years into running at least once a week, the first 5k of my run is almost always the hardest part for me. My body is slow, heavy, and feels like it has forgotten how to run. I feel like an idiot. I keep going. Then, when I’m at three miles or so, I don’t care so much. My body is warmed up and relaxed. My brain is settled. I can run for another 5k+ and I feel better. I’m working on accepting this rather than being irritated by it.

8 & 10: Emotional maps and Dialogue is the tip of the iceberg

My characters, if I want them to seem realistic as humans -- they can’t always say what they feel. What do people say when they’re thinking about something else? How do they feel and how is that shifting their conversations? I know a lot of the action that’s going to happen in my story. But what would it look like if I made an emotional outline?

9 & 5: Personal & communal desire and Truth

Communities mostly desire to be good -- though they may define it differently. A communal desire for something can go sideways, though. The desire to “be good” is so strong that it can shellac right over the truth. Which brings me to a Martin Luther King, Jr., quote that isn’t as widely shared: “Large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity.” So if a white community says they desire to be good, but they refuse to break their status quo that benefits from racism -- how are they good?

Let’s wade into the mud together.