I didn’t plan on being absent around here most of last week, but having taken a break (even/especially an unplanned one) I can say it was much needed and appreciated. I got to disconnect and spend time with family and loved ones and in sweatpants and with cup after cup of tea, and my nose buried in a book. Tis the season! I’m in the middle of two books Jamal bought me for Christmas, “The Paris Architect” by Charles Belfoure, and Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” and recommend both highly. Am I weird for reading multiple books at once? My short attention span coupled with a voracity for the written word means I’ve always juggled at least two books at a time (and sometimes as many as four), craving variety in narratives. I vacillate depending on what I’m in the mood for: Nazi occupation of Paris one day, a young man and his stolen painting the next.
It was the New York Times Book Review for the latter from which this quote comes:
To write a novel [so] large and dense is equivalent to sailing from America to Ireland in a rowboat, a job both lonely and exhausting. Especially when there are storms. Suppose, the writer thinks (must think), this is all for nothing? What if I’m failing and don’t know it? What if I make the crossing and am greeted not with cheers but with indifference or even contempt?
Tartt spent about 10 years working on “The Goldfinch,” her third novel. Ten! I remember thinking when I first started this undertaking that I would finish writing my book in six months to a year. So precious! So naive! So wrong! Sure, the writing is coming along and I’m grateful for it even if the pace sometimes feels like my 88-year-old mommom could outrun my progress, but King’s quote is so accurate it’s scary. What if I’m actually wasting my time? I have to think that even if it takes me 10 years (PLEASE DON’T LET IT TAKE 10 YEARS) I will have something to show for it, regardless of what happens at the end of that time. It’s the journey, not the destination, etc etc, I know. I know. Right?