Well folks, yesterday we reached the golden 70,000 words and now its on to the next ten, and however many after that it takes to make this sucker perfect (although I know deep down it’ll never be perfect — this is the torment of all writers).
I have been attempting to step back from this work even as I approach the end in order to give myself some much needed perspective over what chapters need tuning, which ones need total rework, and which ones don’t make any sense at all. It’s days like this that I wish I had Ginsberg’s network of writers and best minds to mail copies to (email probably now — loses some magic but also causes less grief over handwriting (and when it came to poor handwriting, the Beats were worse than doctors)) and receive feedback and honest, tough-love commentary from. Their system really was amazing! I know the bad rumor about the Beats is that they worked and worked without revision (thereby bypassing the need for some to consider their work as actual literary and/or poetic triumph). However, this is simply not true — even Kerouac gave his work thought and thought and thought. Although both Kerouac and Ginsberg are famous for having sat down and started writing, they didn’t just sit down to their first typewriter ever and write the first words they’d ever written. Ginsberg, after all, had been journaling extensively and intensely since he was eleven years old, writing on every scrap of paper he could tear off and reading every book around, considering every new idea that came across his plate.
And perhaps that’s just what I need to do — a good bout of journaling journaling, the kind that doesn’t take place online but which allows you to scrap and shove everything off your worldly desk and create a new, safe, and adventurous place for yourself, for you to remind yourself of the very best parts of you as well as unleash some of the very worst.
The goal for this week is to finish reading this Sherman Alexie book, journal for twenty minutes everyday, remind my fiance why he’s perfect, and reach 78,000 words. Hold onto your skirts ladies, as W. Carlos W. said, we’re goin’ walkin’ through hell (and hopefully somewhere a bit nicer as well!)
Keep on keepin’ on!