Friday, January 14, 2005

Writing for the sake of writing

Ok, this is the second blog of the day. That does not bode well - an initial burst of enthusiasm is usually followed by a swift and tragic decline. Ultimately in 9 months I remember about this thing again, and come back and read these half-hearted entries that will stop in, say, four weeks or so, and remember what a mundane January this was.

But now I want to write on this thing because: I am reading Tom Perrotta, whom I consider one of the most accessible writers out there - he makes me think I can write too, and that this motley collection of experiences and ideas could somehow become something coherent and perhaps meaningful; and I want to write because I am half-watching "Dinner for Five" on IFC right now and they're talking about screenplays, a format I would avoid simply because of the crazy margins and shit. Who needs it.

In Costa Rica James and I talked a lot about writing. I think the books I read have conditioned me to think that all writing must be about the rich interior lives of the characters - like a boring New Yorker story where nothing happens. Instead of writing about, say, a plane crash, you write about the moving emotional journey of a man refilling his xanax prescription. But thanks to Michael Chabon and Dave Eggers and (a timeless classic) John Grisham, my faith in writing in which shit happens is being reaffirmed. I would be happy just to write a potboiler, a good adventure story like I used to try to write when I was little. Except now I am mature - excuse me, matoor - so I could add a sex scene if I liked. No smoking though.

Tonight has been a good evening. I put up the bathroom mirror and the curtain over my window, went to get chipotle and made pleasant eye contact with many different people en route. I felt very confidant, as I usually do when travelling with a New Yorker and my Ipod (Oscar). And then I came back and flipped around the tv for a while, and now I am here.

Ok, I guess that's it. We'll see how this goes. I'm trying to see what kind of tone I'm using. I feel like I am writing for a cocktail party - or at least trying to write like I'm talking to one of my very smart friends whose very presence keeps me on my toes. Some kind of witty, erudite, Mark Twain/Winston Churchill tone, or something. But without the pretension, and with a dash of red-state sensibility. Ok then, somewhere between Jeff Foxworthy and Winston Churchill. Thomas Friedman? Or his lovechild, borne by Maureen Dowd? I don't know.

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