Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nulla dies sine linea

In Diane DiPrima's memoir, "Recollections of My Life as a Woman," she talks about how from a fairly early age (high school and then after she's dropped out of college) she dedicated herself to writing every day. She talks a lot about how this is a major part of her craft. At one point she relays a story about listening to a radio interview with a composer and the interviewer asks him how he became so famous. The composer says that every day since he was 12 he played the major and minor scales. He even reiterated it because the interviewer didn't seem to get it.

Many times I have told myself that I will sit down to write something, anything every day. I think I probably started telling myself that in high school, when I became aware that writing to me was more than jotting my feelings down in my journal. Oddly enough, that was when I didn't need the journal as much, and my journaling slowed down significantly. And, as you know, that's one of the reasons I started this blog, to try to get myself to write something, anything, every day. And, as you also know, I don't always hit my mark. But I at least make an effort (of course, like my dentist would say - making an effort to floss your teeth every day isn't going to save you from that filling. Only actually flossing every day is going to do that. Or, like Yoda would say - oh, never mind, you know what Yoda would say).

Diane also made a commitment to being a Writer in more than just the sitting down and writing every day way. She gave up college, she lived in poverty, working only 20 or so hours a month, scavenging wood off the streets to heat her apartment and spent her time writing or hanging out with other artists (of all kinds). Maybe it's not too late for me. Maybe, at 35, I can give up my cushy job, my nice apartment, take a job modeling for artists (or something) and sit and write every day. I can attend all the poetry readings, and art shows and book events that are out there and maybe I'll become a real writer (the one I have in my head, not the one that writes memos about our new SPAM filtering software that's being installed on every one's computers this weekend). Something to think about.


JS - Congratulations!

MM - My thoughts are with you.

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