Again, I Say, Again

8 October 2013
8:25 AM
Manila

M.–

Your song reminded me of the Red House Painters’ Song For A Blue Guitar and Nick Drake’s Northern Sky. They wrap around you like a warm embrace.

I think I am coming down with something. I worked the whole morning and was able to finish a few tasks, thank goodness, but my bones started feeling very heavy come afternoon. I took a nap, and when I woke up I felt like I was outside my body. I thought a shower would make it all better, but it seems like I made the wrong decision.

How are you doing with your writing?

S. encouraged me to type my first drafts (the more recent ones) and said she’ll read/critique them for me. I am taking her up on her offer. I’ll also send it to you, as I really enjoyed your comments last time. They are very helpful, and I cannot stress how important it is to have your perspective. I’m in that frame of mind right now where I’m quite ready to tackle revising, and working with what I have.

I like this interview with Dani Shapiro:

…I’ve come to this recently lately, this idea that there are two kinds of teaching now when it comes to teaching writing. There’s writers who are coming to the workshop or a retreat because they’re trying to get it right with every fiber of their being. And then there’s this other world of writers who will go to a workshop or a retreat because they’re trying to get it down. And getting it down and getting it right are two different things. For some writers getting it down is enough. And I think that has more to do with writing as a kind of therapy or catharsis. And getting it right has nothing to do with that. With [Annie] Dillard, you see the absolute clarity and wisdom of her intention. She says a good book takes ten years.

“Every day includes much more non-being than being. This is always so. One walks, eats, sees things, deals with what has to be done; the broken vacuum cleaner; ordering dinner; washing; cooking dinner. When it is a bad day the proportion of non-being is much larger.”

– Virginia Woolf

Repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise, says Elizabeth Bishop.

So I sit at my desk and stare at the page: again, I say, again.

Good morning,
T.

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