Notes to Self: circa 11.28.12

by tjbeitelman

Yesterday a dear friend posted this link on his Facebook page.

It’s all about the daily routines of famous writers. Fittingly enough it’s called “The Daily Routines of Famous Writers,” and it consists of a bunch of quotes from said Famous Writers regarding what makes their respective creative processes tick. Very discipline-y and don’t stare out the window! etc. Which is fine. It’s instructive and inspiring. Discipline is good. Words on the page: good.

But. Here is the comment I posted on said dear friend’s Facebook page in response:

Obama’s a communist! #Benghazi

Ha. No. I didn’t do that. That’s so early November. (And also insane.)

But I did write this:

[These invariably make me feel bad. Because, like, for a million reasons. First, mostly they always imply the vast stretches of unencumbered time these folks have on their hands. Which. I mean… Plus they’re mostly fiction writers. Which is like accountants. Or joggers. Third: there’s always somebody who says you’re not supposed to stare out of windows or even ever wait. Ever. At all. For anything. Much less magic. You’re just supposed to yoke yourself to the typewriter (always it’s a typewriter) and bleed words. Thing is, waiting’s what I’m best at. That and staring out of windows. But. I mean. I’m a poet. Rilke said waiting’s okay. Better than okay. Rilke said waiting is the most important thing. ‘It does come,’ he said. I believe him.]

There’s definitely a chance I’m being too easy on myself.*

[*I’m probably being too hard on accountants and joggers. Also probably fiction writers too. Or maybe it’s not that I’m being hard on them, per se. Who doesn’t want to be considered, generally speaking, productive and efficient? But, generally speaking, I am generalizing, which, at best, only yields lazy half-truths.]

I don’t think I’m being too easy on myself, though. I mean. I’m not Joyce Carol Oates, but I’ve produced some stuff. I’d like to produce better stuff and I will keep trying to do that. I’m also gonna keep staring out windows. And — sometimes, maybe most of the time — I’ll keep doing nothing.

Because nothing (in my experience) is almost always something.


Notes-to-Self are real-life excerpts of resurrected insight from real-life notebooks Facebook pages. (What do your old notebooks social media posts still want you to know? Feel free to share it in the comments section, if you’re feeling generous…)