Friday, November 20, 2009

Perhaps I mis-spoke

Hmmm. In the past, I have said that writing fiction is too difficult for me. Non fiction is the stuff, I'd say. I was a reporter for too long to make stuff up when I write. Gotta be real. Gotta be accurate. No funny stuff. Grr.

Well, now I am in a writing project that is pure non-fiction.

And it sucks turkey giblets.

(How's that for an image?)

I decided that my opinion was worth listening to, and I managed to convince a few other people that I might have something of value to say, so I have a date with some pretty smart people set up for next week. Where I will tell them what I think. Without using cuss words, if possible.

To prepare for this adventure, my beloved has compiled scads and scads of data. She has created spreadsheets that would arouse the freakiest of accountants. Wait. That sounded way stranger than I had planned. But damn, it's good enough that I am going to leave it in. Just because.

So anyway, to accompany these scads of spreadsheets and oodles of data, I thought it might be wise to have a narrative to explain what the circles and arrows are all about. (Apologies to Mr. Guthrie.)

Only, for the first time in my life, I am jammed up writing. I can't get the damned thing down on the page. I can tell it out loud, I can explain it over nachos at a restaurant, and draw maps of congressional districts in crayon on the back of a place mat, but sit at the computer and type it out? Not so much.

My solution? I have two extremely devoted assistants (thanks, Laura and Louise!) who allowed me to dictate my rant into various and sundry recording devices so they could transcribe it, so I could combine it, and now I have nine pages when what I need is three.

So now I am going through, eliminating the duplications, cleaning up the data and citations, and generally doing some kind of damage to my frontal cortex every time I bang my head against the table.

Perhaps when this is done, I might share it. Perhaps I might not. It might be classified as top-secret super-duper political strategy material meant only for the eyes of those at the highest levels of queer political leadership.

Or, like in my newspaper days, someone will use it to train a puppy shortly after they looked at the pictures. You can't tell.

But what I can tell you is that this dry kind of non-fiction stuff is miserable, miserable writing. There is no room for humor, no room for sarcasm, no room for soul, and barely any room for passion. Gah. I wish we had a tub so I could soak in it.


Mel said...

Oh yeah, non-fiction isn't easy, but it's so gratifying.

Anonymous said...

Any word from your "audience" yet?