26 November 2011

Write on

Since recovering from the surgery (August 29) that removed my cancerous prostate, i've returned to regular work on Turning Words. Having been away from it for a long time, my feel for the task has changed considerably (actually my feel for everything has changed over the past year and a half, but i haven't found a way to write or talk about the change comprehensively).

One thing i've considered is a more systematic attempt to enter into dialogue with readers (especially my friends on Manitoulin Island). This would certainly be instructive for me and would affect my revision of the existing draft. But whether it would improve the book in the long run, i.e. enhance its value for subsequent readers, is another question, and one i have no answer for. So i keep on writing and revising without giving much thought to recruiting readers.

Actually i doubt that any reader would understand what the book was driving at unless they were already driving at it themselves; and in that case, they might well arrive at it (or not) regardless of whether they read my book or not.

Yet i suppose the authors i've read (and, i hope, learned from) might well have had the same thoughts about future readers, and if so, it didn't stop them writing. So i labour on, not because i am convinced that my work will end up being useful to somebody, but because i simply feel as if something quite beyond me is using me to manifest itself. No doubt there are other manifestations of it as well; i have no way of knowing whether the one i'm responsible for will actually reach anyone. The meaning doesn't belong to me, i belong to it. The writing is integral with the total practice of my life that i owe to it. So i muddle on, not even knowing whether anyone will actually read it or not. (And the same goes for this post, come to think of it.)


Stephen C. Rose said...

I had the same procedure a few years back. No fun but better than the alternatives! Cheers, S

Mark Trumble said...

i read it.I wish I had your habit of writing everything down. So much reflection and study in private that "does not show".