I’ve been reading this book and thinking, as I often do, “I wish I could write like Julian Barnes.”  Or, better yet, and to be more accurate, “If only I could write like Julian Barnes.”

I hate the if onlys.  They get us nowhere.  And yet, there they are, like errant needle sticks:  Is this the right vein?  No?  How about this one?

I’ve been traveling these last 2 weeks, and I’ve unexpectedly gotten a lot of work done.  This is a picture of what my notes used to look like.  I’ve been lugging them (and more) around for at least a year.  Now they’re in the trash at the airport.  Decisions have been made.  Moving forward, trusting myself a little more.

Two weeks ago, for the first time in eons, I printed out my entire manuscript and I’ve lugged it with me everywhere.  I’ve made myself handwrite everything; if I needed to find a scene, I couldn’t hit the “search” button, I had to remember where in the hell it was; I’ve trusted every single instinct for what stays and what goes; I’ve let my mind wander down it’s paths instead of trying to hang onto the wheel so goddamned tight.

I am not Julian Barnes.

Today I saw this discussion (mentor-project.html) between 2 golfers:  Ben Crenshaw and Jonathan Vegas.  Watch it.  Imagine they’re writers instead of golfers.

Do you trust your game?