Is it the upcoming holiday? Is that it? Can I even get away with calling Labor Day Weekend a holiday?? Because … well … shit, I’m not getting much editing or rewriting or rethinking done this week. I’m waking up at four every morning with first sentences I could kiss and ideas that need to be set down before they’re lost — somebody get me a piece of paper! But that’s not the same as writing, now is it. You know what I mean. Notes are notes, notes are one-offs, and it makes no matter how fucking brilliant and fully formed they seem when you open your eyes in the dark and crave your special pen. Notes don’t get the job done.
I went to bed the other night, spinning: I’ve got the story. I’ve got some damned clever first sentences and transitions and titles and crazy characters who talk up their conflict. I’ve even got a structure that’s working. Can’t I just wave my magic wand — Poof! — and whip out this book already?
I’ve been listening to Mary Karr on audio. Yesterday I was walking the dogs and, literally, holding my breath while picking up poop in a pink baggie when I heard this jewel:
You are here. ~ A mall directory.
So much for all the Baudelaire and Rilke epigraphs in her book, this is the one that got my attention. When I went to bed last night, I read this before I turned off the light. From Ann Patchett’s THE GETAWAY CAR:
It’s possible to let the thinking-about process become so complicated that the obvious answer gets lost. I made a vow on the spot that for the month of January, I would dedicate a minimum of one hour a day to my chosen profession. One hour a day for thirty-one days wasn’t asking so much, and I usually did more. …. Do you want to do this thing? Sit down and do it. Are you not writing? Keep sitting there. Does it not feel right? Keep sitting there.
You are here.