Everyday, I commit myself to writing just one page. Here is my page for today.
I woke up this morning with my nose congested and mucus running in a delightful little stream in the back of my throat. I slept in another hour and a half. Usually I am writing by 6:45AM, trying to squeeze in the hours before leaving for the day job. Ah, well.
Good news. My book, The Existential Coffee Companion, is now a complete and edited manuscript. Spent all of yesterday polishing it up and sending out the first query letters to literary agents and publishing houses. What may come of it, I do not know. But I am hoping it will be something great. It is a fine little book. Highly entertaining and unique. I would be amiss if this book were never given exposure outside the confines of this house. At the very least, if I cannot get an agent to represent it, or a publishing house to publish it – then I will self-publish. No matter what, it is a won game.
I attended the Willow River Writers meeting yesterday. Nine members showed up, so it was a nearly full table. I brought in my short story, Johnny Bad Apple, and was given corrections on my typos and suggestions on how to better some of the details. The story was well received by the group. Kathy gasped at the dramatic ending – either that or she burnt her mouth on her coffee, but I prefer to think the former. I have polished this story up and sent it in to Z Publishing House for their upcoming “Emerging Wisconsin Writers: Fiction Anthology”. If they use the story, or the other one I sent them (a horror story, Welcome Home), I will then become an author to be featured in both of their Fiction and Non-Fiction anthologies. Pretty cool.
The dream of being a full-time writer, of making a living off of the written word, is still a long way off, it seems. But it will come. It may come next year. It may come ten years from now. But it will come. The world may be dull and obtuse, but I’ll still be plugging away. I have faith in myself. What else would I be doing otherwise? One would hate to speculate.
Without the writing, I would probably still be busy playing guitar in mostly vacant bars and being hollered at by drunkards. I’d be standing there in the corner, fretting over whether I was pulling off the songs or not. Then I’d be asking, why does it matter? Lifting my feet up continuously so not to get glued to the sticky barroom floor. Now for a John Prine song. Now for a Dylan song. Now for an original song. Oh, no, no, no. My two years of performing was okay, sometimes it was even great, but I’m far gone and done with that shit now.
When one is an artist, all mediums open up. I still pick up the guitar, sometimes. I still play a bit of harp and sing, too. I also do a bit of painting now and then. But what I truly love doing these days is to write. When I write, I am god of my world and my only limitation is my own imagination. Whatever I say, goes. In writing, there is no authority.
Writing is also a meditation. It is a way to completely lose your Self for a while. When you totally immerse yourself in your art, you will transcend your Self. And when the work is done, you will look back at it and perhaps discover something a bit about your Self which you weren’t previously aware of. This is merely one of the many beautiful aspects about creating art.