Monday, August 01, 2005

Manhattan, While I'm Still Young



Yes, I'll take Manhattan. Even though it's notoriously expensive and I am notoriously broke (although I don't plan to be that way forever. I am so over the whole bohemian poverty thing!) I am truly looking forward to joining the ranks of those who've beaten it.

In the meantime, while my novel continues to, uh, marinate, I'm going to gear up for the U.S. Open, the upcoming basketball season (now that I'm a Knicks fan again) and re-read my favorite kick-in-the-pants-there-is-no-such-thing-as-writer's-block-book The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner. It contains gems like this one from Joyce Carol Oates:

"One must be pitiless about this matter of 'mood'. In a sense, the writing will create the mood."

And this poignant quote from Anton Chekhov that most of us can relate to:

"There are moments when I positively lose heart. For whom and for what do I write? Does the public need me or not? I cannot make it out. Write for money? I never have money, and from the habit of it I am almost indifferent to it. For the sake of money I work poorly."

Here is one of Chekhov's "poorly" written stories for you writers out there. Take heart.

Also, when I'm a little stuck, I like to pull out some of my favorite books by good writers such as Mary Cantwell's Manhattan, When I Was Young, Lois Gould's Mommy Dressing, and selected fiction (since I don't really like to read fiction while I'm writing it) by Walter Mosley, James Baldwin, Wally Lamb and Pearl Cleage.

I read, I read and I read even more, but eventually, I have to get back to work. Like, uh, right now!

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