Thursday, July 2, 2015
Do books live in particular places?
I am trying to slowly refocus on my manuscript. It is a rough sketchy first draft of a thing. I finished it last year. It was hard to write and particularly unpleasant even as manuscripts go (and they are so often unpleasant). I wrote it down in Tasmania, in a poet's shack on the water in a place called Southport. The southernmost pub in Australia is in Southport.
I have printed this draft out and had it spiral bound. I intend to read it right through and see where I am with it. Only problem is I am finding it difficult to focus on the book. I keep wanting to go back to Tasmania. I keep wanting to walk out of my door and onto the frosty sand.
I long for Tasmania like you might long for a family member who is away. After a few weeks of feeling this longing, I am beginning to think that my absent family member is the manuscript alone. Perhaps this book didn't travel back to Queensland with me. Perhaps this book is still living in Tasmania. What if I can only settle into it if I go back to that shack in Southport?
These are irrational thoughts, but maybe there is something to it. Maybe something of a place you are working in infuses itself in the work itself. Maybe certain books can only be written in certain places. I would be interested to hear if other writers feel the same way about this.