I'm at a cafe writing. A different cafe from my usual, my "local." The best thing about my local is that they serve beer and wine. There are lots of other great things about it like that yam sandwich (and the coffee is always really well made), but the very best thing is that I can find my sweet spot for a torrent of writing.
Said sweet spot involves one double cappucino followed by a cup of black coffee for sipping. Paired with a mimosa. (Fine, FINE, sometimes two.) That, my friends, is the sweet spot. It is the perfect frequency, Kenneth. It is just the right amount of get-up-and-go combined with that giddy little buzz that sparkling wine always brings. This combo facilitates the most words and often the pieces I am most proud of.
I find I must leave the house to get any writing done. I am still considering a writing desk in the little laundry room that overlooks our back yard, and while that is an ideal location for a lot of reasons, it is also where the cats shit. So, I've been taking to going to coffee shops to write almost always.
I know. I know how it sounds. I'm sorry, but the change in scenery and people watching and caffeine consumption serves its purpose, despite the glaring cliche. I'm not sure how I feel about this need to leave the house to get good work done, but I suppose it is like going to the office. That makes sense.
I overthink this writing business an awful lot. That is a risk, I guess, when you turn down $75,000 a year jobs to wait tables and throw everything into writing. You tend to analyze that decision a lot. Most days you are fine with it, happy even, but then there are days you stare at a blinking cursor and curse yourself for being so goddamn stupid.
Fact or fiction? Long form or short form? Articles or concentrate on a book? Will snicker if I write a memoir? How could they not? But fiction feels a little like fraud when only the names and dates are changed to protect "the innocent."
I write and write and write, but rarely re-write. Editing my own stuff feels impossible. I'm letting the words pile up and up and up (I write a story a day.), and I'm scared to death that's all they'll ever be. Sometimes I get a burst of self-confidence, often when I'm around other creative people who produce on a daily basis, and I think: collection of short stories, released serially, self-published. Start there. Then I sit down the next day and the personal, memoir-y stuff comes tumbling out and I'm back to self-doubt about self-indulgence.
Which is to say: THIS IS REALLY HARD. I don't know where it's all going, but there is furious scribbling behind the scenes. And most of it is unadulterated shit, but even I can see a few real gems shining out from excrement.
Which is also to say: OH MY GOD, IF/WHEN I PUBLISH SOMETHING PLEASE BUY IT.
That is all. Fow now.
[Photo by David Joyce]