I told people this wasn’t a blog, but a writing journal, and there’s the proof. No writing, no entries.
Still haven’t worked on the book, it’s been like three weeks now. I keep thinking about it, but resist writing. I want distance from where I was before, I need to come at it fresh.
I am convinced that if I come at the writing process with bad energy, that will be laced throughout the writing itself. It can’t be that I’m writing because I’m supposed to be writing now, even if I find joy in the process. I need to long to write, enjoy my bouncing Microsoft Word icon as it loads up for another round. I don’t think it is a joyous book, as far as themes or subject matter, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a good time.
But as I’ve been working on the book too long, I need to let go. Stop the over intellectualizing by stepping off the train for a bit. Soak up beautiful words from other authors on a vacation starting next week, planning to read some Fitzgerald, Austen, Flaubert, Palahniuk, Max Barry, other odds and ends.
I was listening to a Radiohead interview last night, streamed from KCRW, and Thom Yorke said he stopped fighting his craft on this recent record and just realized what a gift it was that he was able to create, that he can write songs. It wasn’t about audience, or process. It was the moment of creation. Finding joy in the fact that you allow yourself to take this time and build something for yourself. Eventually you share it, but initially it is solely yours.
Now, if you go listen to that interview, he may say none of that. But there was a sentence fragment in which I either heard, projected, or extrapolated all of that.
Even Bono said his goal on their latest album was to find a place of joy, and write songs that radiate joy. That happiness as a goal for most people is too simplistic. Happiness is getting rid of a headache. Find your joy.
That’s what I’m doing now.
Some people are surprised to hear I’m not writing. But, honestly, I think the writing will be much faster when I get back into it. I need to learn how to make it a labor of love, and not a labor and a love.
I need to get all Californian about it and feel good that I do let myself sit here and create. That there is value and worth whenever that action is realized.
Chuck came out with a new book this week, a travel guide to Portland, which I will be reading on my vacation, no doubt. He was interviewed by the Portland Tribune about it, and he went into his usual answers about his writing process. Turns out Chuck uses the writing schedule i tried but found too difficult (at least with the day job). Excerpt:
For an anarchist, he can be pretty anal-retentive. When at home, he rises at 4 a.m. to write. “Because it’s quiet, and the real ‘judgey’ part of the brain that says ‘This is shit’ is not awake yet.”
Then he works out, deals with business in the afternoon, reads in the evening and crashes about 9 p.m.
I did pick a good role model for now. Writes obsessively, always fits in the workout, but demands he have a full life as well.
Actually, I tried that schedule when I was less obsessive, so it was too much change too soon. Getting up too early. But, what I do remember from that brief period was that work was delightful (read: didn’t suck as much), because you went in high on endorphins from the gym and knowing you already banged out your writing for the day. The day was literally yours.
Downside was that after work, you were going to bed in 4 hours.
So, I will be on vacation starting next week through the end of July. While I can’t say I won’t crack open a pen and paper on vacation, there is no formal plan to write until I get back.
Will just be reading, falling in love with the end result of other people taking the time to let me look at the world through their eyes, and finding the way to my joy for when I sit back down to create.