Jenna touched on something really good last week when she said “the desperation with which I want to be an artist is the sort of thing I can't speak openly about." To respond to it I have to leave Flannery for a week and fall back into Hemingway. Hemingway is the sort of writer who can understand this feeling. He wants desperately, and he understands the sacrifices the writer makes without even realizing they are sacrifices.
It's hard to talk about art when you're in it, and it's bad luck because, as Jenna says "you follow the desire of your heart into Oberon's wood, ignoring rebuffs, with no hope except that you might possibly be overheard by sympathetic magic—" and we all know that magic hides from acknowledgement, twists and changes itself to avoid gratitude. Better to keep your mouth shut, magic comes when and how it choses - even when we try to manipulate it.
Jenna's post is honest and open, and even not talking about the sacrifices of art, she manages to say more about those sacrifices than I did. How do we talk about art without distracting from the art itself, and without being "one of those people"? You know the kind who only talk about "this book I'm writing..and can I just read a bit to you, to get your opinion, you know?!" Because talking about art often kills it, which is why I am rarely open about particular projects until they're nearing the close, because I hate talking specifics when in comes to writing, and unless I'm directly involved in the editing process, I don't really like hearing specifics - it's like hearing the details of a birth over the phone, or reading them on facebook. I like speaking of generalities, not specifics. Jenna is right when she describes the desire for art as primal. It is, too personal for blogs, for daily conversation, to be cheapened by common talk.
When people ask about my writing I tend to mumble a bit, drop my eyes, and say something banal. Writing grows best in silence, as the artist does.