Monday, November 20, 2006

monday

Last night I barely slept. I never do on Sunday nights. Friday and Saturday I push my waking hours to three or four in the morning, and by Sunday I've tilted my circadian rhythms over. Monday to Thursday is repair time. I reset my clock back to something approximating normal business hours, and then Friday I bugger it all up. I knew I'd be too tired tonight to write a proper post for NaBloPoMo, so I put down two entries late Sunday, one on either side of midnight. I thought that would give me a reprieve and let me sleep early tonight.

Unfortunately, daily posting has started to become habitual. More to the point, it's finally prodded my long-dormant compulsion to write. Maybe I've said it on this weblog or maybe elsewhere, but I find writing of any kind extremely tortuous and painful. I lead with jokes to get through the painful part, and then I'm off, but still picking through each sentence and pushing words around (to quote Philip Roth, who pushed them around for a living). Today was a slow day at work so I took out a tablet of paper and started filling it with blue ink, line by line. Only when I'd flipped the paper over twice did I realize how much I'd written in a fairly short period of time. I used to write like that in highschool, but what I wrote back then was all Ginsbergian nonsense and fever dream. Usually it was just words for the sake of sounding impressive, grand cosmic themes and pantheistic pronouncements. Today I wrote five pages on video games and O.J. Simpson, and I hate both of those things. Better yet, what I wrote in haste was clear and uncluttered when I read it back, which, let me tell you, is exceedingly rare. Usually my sentences are multiclausal disasters, phrase propped up on phrase until paragraphs look like pick-up sticks. What you get here is often the result of periods and commas dropped judiciously into the mess.

I don't know if it's NaBloPoMo and its demand for content that have spurred this on, but in the absence of other factors, I give full credit to Fussy for offering up this idea. Many thanks. And good night.

6 comments:

Mother Bumper said...

I thank Fussy also - but the difference is: I'm a poor writer who is happy with my improvements. I guess I'm gonna go all cliche and say practice makes perfect (eep! did I just succumb to that sort of trivial greeting card stock statement - yup, I did... sorry 'bout that).

jellis said...

I'd like to know why you are not pushing words around for a living. You are a brilliant writer, and reading your work, I don't get the sense that it is torturous for you. You seem to be having fun showing us your considerable wit.

palinode said...

Jellis: Shh. Don't tell nobody. I make it look like fun. And often it is, once I'm past the first few words. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

M. Bumper: You underestimate your talent. Or as certain presidents would say, you misunderestimate it.

Queen Geek said...

I'm finding that NaBloPoMo is producing the same effect in me. I wonder if we'll keep up the habit after the 30th...

I'm sorry you hate video games.

I like your blog. Keep writing.

savia said...

What I like about NaBloPoMo is that you never quite know what is going to come out. I'm learning a lot about myself. Some of it is a tad bit disturbing (see the post on the kitchen utensils, dear god!), but life would be boring otherwise, wouldn't it?

dreadmouse said...

How can you possibly equate the vileness of OJ with the brilliant cultural achievement that is the video game? For shame, Mr. Palinode, for shame!