Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Things to Do on a Rainy Day

A cold, grey, rainy day is best spent indoors. Right? After going to the gym and doing a couple of errands, I closed myself in and settled into the recliner in my study, thinking about all the postponed household chores I could be doing: sorting the piles of papers in my study, cleaning my sweater drawer where a moth nibbled a hole in my favorite green sweater, reducing the old emails in my Inbox, removing rug stains.  But, instead, I snuggled down to continue reading “West with the Night” by Beryl Markham, a book of my mother’s that had gathered a film of dust on my bookshelf. Now I can't put it down. I read with pencil in hand, underlining poetic phrases and metaphors. As a struggling writer, I get discouraged though. She writes so magnificently. Doubts about the quality of my writing haunt me as I prepare to publish my memoir. My consolation is a quote from Ernest Hemingway upon reading Markham’s book: …”she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer…. But she can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers.”

            Writers confess to myriads of self-doubts, so maybe what I'm feeling is normal. All I can do is to keep on writing – and reading. I’ll glean what I can from Beryl Markham’s magic with words.

1 comment:

  1. I was a big fan of Beryl Markham...owned this book for ages...and read everything about her and her life in East Africa many years ago. I should go back and reread it for the prose...at the time I read out of fascination for her adventurous life. You write beautifully but I can understand the insecurity as I seem to be in that mode lately...my writing feels rusty especially the more I read...because nowadays I read and notice the beauty of the writing...the vocabulary, language, metaphors, and an author's unique way of looking at the world. I'd love to read your memoir!