1.30 AM. No coffee.

Oh horrendous midnight terror of yore. ‘Twas no cup of coffee on my desk, yet the woman writes. Alas! the woman writes.

I fell in love with Victorian prose and poetry in my early teens. However poorly executed as demonstrated above, I still haven’t shaken the infatuation.

Earlier today I sat down by my beloved desk to write a paragraph or two on my novel, and while I did scramble together a couple of pages, I have a nagging suspicion in the back of my mind I’ll have to edit it to its very core, if not cut it completely. Editing comes later though, and I shouldn’t fall into the pit of doubt and suspicion that every sentence isn’t worth its weight in gold. Every sentence won’t be great, of course not. It’s a draft. It’s the muddled scribbles that will form into one shape or another. Right now, I need material. Something to work on.

But Augustus Waters said it so well. ‘My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.’ And I feel him so very, very deeply.

That’s the worst struggle I deal with while writing – the inability to put two and two together. Just earlier today I dug out my old high school diploma and oh dear, was I terrible at math.

That was one of the reasons why I sort of leaned on the fact that I understood language, and early on did I adopt a sort of creative way of functioning. Play on your strengths, and just fake the rest until you made some sort of sense out of it. And yes, my writing struggle isn’t one of language.

I just have a bunch of torn thoughts I can’t seem to put together. And that’s the only things I really want to do: to make sense of it all.

In an attempt to help myself pin down the general feeling and aesthetic of my novel – my wonderful mercury brain child that just won’t stay in one place long enough for me to completely understand it – I have developed a term I’m hoping will be somewhat useful in the future.

Franklyn

The name Franklin doubles as an umbrella term and as my stage name. After long, arduous consideration I finally landed on the name I thought chimed nicely in the air of early morning hours, and here’s why:

  • it’s the umbrella term for the aesthetic that is this somber, lovely feeling of being alone in the world and at the very same time belong to everything; it’s the feeling of breathing without restriction; it’s the warmth of your lover’s skin in the morning; and most of all, it’s the restless search for a meaning, only to find one answer to every question in the world, and that answer is love
  • it’s also the title of my debut novel, and it kind of works as my stage name/signature. I’m not trying to undermine me true identity. I’m trying to create something understandable. (The verdict of my success is not yet given)
  • coincidentally, the name means “free man”

Coining the term has had its moments. I suspect I’ve spent so much time trying to pin down its meaning – and that meaning might well evolve again – I’ve lost valuable time writing. If I’d spent time actually writing as I do dreaming about writing, I’d probably written ten books by now. But I think every aspiring writer has a romanticised vision of a flowing process of unbridled creativity in which fingers tap away on the keyboard without pause.

If it only was that simple.

But if it were, many more people would do it. They don’t. And despite the crushing doubt I fight every day, I have a need to write. So I go back and forth in the struggle and try to find a way to connect the stars into constellations that make sense.

(Thank you John Green, that metaphor is simply beautiful.)

And I guess that is why I felt such a need to come up with and define the term Franklin. Because I want to write, and write to understand. And I’m analyzing and splitting every thought and idea into smaller and smaller pieces, just to find answers and to understand. I just want to know why. Why this is happening, why me, why you, why right now, why not?

I come to the same conclusion every time. And still I go on, fighting the windmill, and asking and questioning and doubting.

What a lovely struggle, to be alive.

I do realize this is about as concrete and helpful as ancient Greek philosophy, but one of the main goals of this blog is to help me get my groove on and to perhaps refine my writing and the process that surrounds it. Perhaps I’ll get rid of Franklyn.

Until then, though…

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