Flourish in the Not-Knowing

Don Barthelme
So it's 2013. Resolutions? Yup. Some. There's the health (more exercise, less booze), family (talk to them), environment (spend some time in it) and the writing (finish the damn collection). Then there's all the in-between stuff, the nit and grit, breaking things down into itty bitty bits so I get things done. It's the only way I know. And then there's the not knowing ...

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I've been obsessed with the writing of Donald Barthelme. Currently reading his 60 stories and Not Knowing - the Essays and Interviews. He has this to say, and I've copied it out and stuck it on my door:
'The not-knowing is crucial to art, is what permits art to be made.' and this:
 'Writing is a process of dealing with not-knowing, a forcing of what and how.' and then:
 'The anxiety attached  to this situation is not inconsiderable.'

Barthelme makes me laugh, and humour can be a rare thing in the serious business of literary fiction. He considered how a thing is written to be just as important as what is written so that the art is not about something but is something. I'm keeping this in mind as I move out of the slug of Xmas and holidays and into revising and writing new material for the collection. Also humour. And Eros. More of it in fiction I say. Laughter and Sex. Bring it on.

Say what you mean, says Kurt Vonnegut.

Write what you want, says me. Especially in that raw draft dump. Flourish - that's my word for 2013. Last year I had two, and I had to look them up just now because I've forgotten them already (for the record they were persistence and imagination) That'll teach me, I shouldn't have picked two when I can only remember one. To flourish in the not-knowing, that's really my resolution. To savour it and enjoy it, and so discover something new about how to write, not just what to write.

Lucky I got some money from Arts SA to help me along with the flourishing. Thank you o funding body, you are making my life a shit load easier. To flourish. To flourishing. Fanfare.

Caroline x

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