Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Breathe. Sleep. Write.

Hemingway wrote 'til his pencils weren't sharp.

Collette picked fleas from her cat.

Kerouac and Bacon started on their knees.

Whatever it is, most writers have something. And I'm no different.

And getting back to it is one of the big upsides to having a permanent address and a sense of home.


My routine is pretty simple:

Get up around 7.
Make coffee.
Start writing.
Stop around 10 or 11.

I write long hand when I'm stuck or starting something new. When things are really fucked up, I "clean" the house and get a fresh sheet of paper.

I use Maria Irene Fornes sense memory exercises to get the world out of my head if it's in there.

I've found that turning on the TV, listening to music, checking email or reading the blog world generally destroys everything. So I try to avoid all that crap.

I'm generally no good for anything but talking in the afternoon, so unless I have business, I stay away from the phone.

There are a few other routines that are important - Tennis with H at mid-day, every other day. Plus, three AA meetings a week - a meeting to share at on Mondays, a crazy cross talk men's meeting (populated by rock'n roll and correctional facility refugees) on Tuesdays and a step study meeting on Friday.

I do book study on Wednesdays in Santa Monica with my sponsor.

There's meditation and prayer too, but I'm not worth shit when it comes to either one.

Here's an article on the importance of routine to a few young writers.

Please take out a pencil and a sheet of paper.

You got a routine? Let's hear about it.

4 comments:

frank's wild lunch said...

For months I've been trying to commit to the routine of writing in the mornings before work. I try to get up at 5:30 and go for a run, after which point I pour the java and start writing. If I do it right I can work for an hour before it's time to make breakfast and get ready for the job. The waking up at 5:30 is the hardest. The running isn't easy either, but it does get the blood flowing so I can be productive. It worked yesterday (and I felt great afterwards), but I overdid it on the run and my back was killing me last night so I skipped it all this morning. We'll try again tomorrow (and I'm writing on my lunch break).

P'tit Boo said...

ooh. i am going to come back later and share about routine.
i love this post because my routine has fallen by the wayside right now ... but...
can you share about the fornes exercise ?
what is it ?

malachy walsh said...

p'tit boo... There are several different excercises - I learned them all through Eduardo Machado who studied under Fornes at EST way back when.

Typically, they start by closing your eyes, and breathing through your mouth and visualizing soemthing, a character say, standing behind a door. You breath the way the character does, listen to whatever they're listening to through the door. They want to come in, but there's another character, on the other side of the door, who won't let them in. So the character you first saw needs to figure out how to get in, to find what the other needs to feel like they can let them in....

You write down what you hear them say.

I saw a play at Humana a few years back that started with a similar exercise - the writer admitted the first scenes came directly from it...

Once you get the gist you can invent your own.

P'tit Boo said...

cool !
thanks a lot !