Today, I am torn. Between the urge to edit and re-write a story I began last week, in the midst of things. How can we write and re-write so continually, when we are so drawn into other worlds, into other tasks? Here, after too much coffee, I am euphoric in my research, finding digitized archives of rare journals from the 20s; here in my research, I am fulfilled, and yet I am longing to write. I am not inspired to write by reading contemporary prose, for some reason, but by the heady debate that is stirred up in an English classroom. Talk of beauty and verse drives me to research; talk of research makes me want to compose. How is that so contradictory? That all I wanted to do as an MFA student was read Woolf and theorize about her novels? And now that I can–I want to fill blank pages with words.
Again, I turn to Woolf and The Waves:
I have made up thousands of stories; I have filled innumerable notebooks with phrases to be used when I have found the true story, the one story to which all these phrases refer. But I have never yet found the story. And I begin to ask, Are there stories?