Notes From The Writing LifeMay 8, 2014
Here at the VCCA, a pattern has evolved. Mornings, when at home, I write; here I read history, memoir, essays. I particularly like the voice of Phillip Lopate in my head before I write whether he’s writing about his childhood in Brooklyn or Stendhal. I’ve also grown fond of the voice of Joachim Fest in his memoir about his father, Not I, Memoirs of a German Childhood. For the sheer detail of the end of that War, I’m reading Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma.
And so I read. I scribble notes. I take an essay I’m working on, read aloud, telling myself I will read to the end, then mark it. I can’t get farther than three pages before I’m revising, thinking, marking. When I can’t follow my own script, I go to my computer. And so it goes, the dance of writing which is so much more than writing. I write when I walk, write when I sleep, waking at three in the morning, turning on my light, scribbling thoughts, then falling down into sleep again. Back in my study the next day or days later, when finally, I can force myself to read that essay to the end, I know I have a viable draft.
Twenty-four/ seven, total immersion.
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