Thursday, September 29, 2011

…Yesterday I wrote and I wrote. Then I wrote some more.
I wrote a shit-ton. (Shit-ton is one of my favorite made up swear words.)
I wrote almost 5,000 words, all on the novel.
Lots of things happened. There was some kissing, breaking and entering, gun shots (though no one died) more gun shots (a car got dinged up a bit) and some white-lying.
After I was done writing, I ran outside, came home and took a bath while reading "A Visit From the Goon Squad" (It's taking me forever to read that book. Why is that?)
It's remarkable the power Jacuzzis have. Truly. They have this incredible inspirational quality.
While soaking and reading I came up with a brand new scene and it's ended up being kind of crucial.
Then I popped out, dried off, got dressed (of course) and wrote it.
Then, "Ah ha!" I came up with a twist on the twist.
Yes, I love baths and Jacuzzis.
It’s astonishing the problems you can solve in the bathtub, taking a good long soak.
I fixed all kinds of issues having to do with the novel.
Maybe they should construct an enormous pool near the White House, throw O and Congress in it, toss in some bubble bath and vino, and see if they can’t get their excrement together.

…So I felt pretty proud after my manic writing day, but then in "Poets and Writers" magazine I read about all of these prolific writers and I feel like a big slacker.
Get this:
--Iris Johansen -- 70 novels
--Bill Pronzini -- 77 novels
--Kristine Rusch -- 90 books
--Piers Anthony -- 140 novels
--Jane Yolen -- 300 books
--Robert Randisi -- 540 novels
I mean, Holy Hell, right? 70? 140? FIVE HUNDRED AND FORTY?
Maybe I shouldn't have had that run.
Or gone on Facebook.
Or surfed the web for news.
Or had breakfast.
Or made myself a bad dinner.
Or picked up my son from the skate park.
Maybe I shouldn't have taken time to go pee.
Perhaps I should have just written during those times.

…Tonight I am going to The Hugo House.
The Hugo House is named after Richard Hugo, a legendary poet and professor at U of Washington.
The House stages readings and is a place you can write while enjoying Happy Hour.
Tonight’s event is "Poetry and Wine," whatever that means.
I was at the last reading before their summer break. It was a lot of fun, even if I didn't know anyone there.
Tonight I will go to The Hugo House and I will make myself make friends. I wish you were there to go with me.

I like these things on a Thursday in The Emerald City:

"Fate is written in wood, not stone." Geraint Straker

“Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.” Eudora Welty

"The things which hurt, instruct." Benjamin Franklin

"The problem is that when people tell you your worst enemy is your imagination, they’re wrong. When people tell you that whatever you’re imagining is probably worse than the real thing, they’re wrong. " Andrea Kneeland

"Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young." A.W. Pinero

"The mind writes what is." Gertrude Stein

"It is chance, not perfectionism that rules the world." Judith Guest, "Ordinary People"

"The things which hurt, instruct." Benjamin Franklin

"There's no labor a man can do that's undignified -- if he does it right." Bill Cosby

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." Rumi


  1. Your job, as a writer, is not to just vomit words 24 hours a day. You have to live well to write well and to live well, you need balance or taking time to soak in the tub or go to a concert with your kid or whatever.

    I've said it to you before and I'll say it again--quantity is irrelevant. Anyone can write a lot of anything. Is it memorable, though? I'm more interested in the writer who writes one amazing book, than I would ever be in the writer who writes 500 mediocre or just plain terrible things. Name one book any of those writers you listed have written? You probably can't right? I can't. Frankly, I've never heard of any of them. I have heard of JD Salinger, though. I have heard of Harper Lee. I have heard of any number of writers who understood it's not how many books you write. It's how many good books you write.

  2. hi roxane,
    of course, you are right. i think that need to produce and accumulate is really in response to my insecurities. if i pump things out i can point to them and say, "well, see? i did that. and that and that and that."
    but you're right. i'm going to take heed of your advice. thanks for reading and for your candor.