When all of my writing projects are dead or blocked, I have a fallback project that I use to keep the typing going. I don’t remember when I started this, but a few months back I started writing a biography. I started at January 20, 1971, and moved forward, trying to keep a steady pace with all of the essentials, and without getting stuck on some tangent. Late last year and earlier this year, when I was really blocked and unable to work on either book, I belted out a serious amount of writing, and stayed up all night many times taking the story from childhood to gradeschool to high school.
I’m back on the bio. Everything else seems dead, and I’m sick of my own writing style, so it’s time to pound out the facts for a while. I don’t care how glossy or artistic my prose is (kindof like this journal), I just want to get everything down. I’m now up to the fall of 1992, and there are 43,000 words behind me (maybe 100 pages). Each year gets more difficult. 1971 through 1975 are only a couple of paragraphs; 1992 is already close to 10,000 words. I want to keep writing fast, until I get to 1998 (or 1999, or whenever I finish) and then start at the beginning, making a second pass and adding more detail. I keep forgetting things, or start talking about a person without introducing them in the right place, and I’ll have to fix that. I don’t know if anybody will ever read this, or if I will neaten it up for human consumption, but it’s a fun chore. Maybe the next time I date someone, I will just print and bind the whole damn thing, hand it over, and then have no disclaimers. I’m usually pretty honest when I date people, but it would be relaxing to be able to avoid all of the long stories and make them do the work. But, I guess I like the long stories, so maybe it’s a stupid idea.
I started reading Desolation Angels, and I was certain it was going to throw me, but I read 135 pages last night and would’ve kept reading if it weren’t for that sleep thing. It’s sort of like a darker, more serious version of The Dharma Bums, that’s a little less accessible but also much deeper. It’s got a lot more detail about his time as a lookout, and a lot of Washington details, which is a weird clash of two worlds. It’s cool to read about Kerouac on the UW campus, and wandering the Pioneer Square area. I’m looking forward to some more reading tonight.
It’s been a month and a half since I pulled the plug on the TV. I can barely remember when I sat down and watched hours and hours of shows. I don’t have enough time to do anything now, and I’m not getting a lot of writing done, so I don’t know how I could fit in TV too. TV’s like alcohol – you have to enjoy it in moderation. Unless you’re depressed – then it’s nice to drown in it.
My typing is messed up – not sure if it’s the keyboard, the hands, or the slow connection, but I keep dropping letters. I better quit while I’m ahead.
Listening to the white album, thinking about the fall of 1992 in order to keep moving on this weird, masturbatory biography. It’s interesting.
I fell asleep for about 4 hours after work, nothing else happened today, and I’m not into whipping up some introspective essay about the past, so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead and get back to writing.