Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Brushing teeth as muse

I’m at the point where I’m thinking more about the novel than other trivial things when I’m in the shower, eating, driving, etc. Today, I brushed my teeth, and then rushed to the spiral notebook for a pageful of ideas. Now I need to do the same with my amount of writing.

I used to tell people I would write for three hours a night: from 9 to midnight, and maybe more. It’s a romantic gesture stolen from Charles Bukowski’s fiction novels, and one I tried to live by. It never worked – I would eat dinner late, get in a phone conversation, go to Denny’s, shopping and Barnes and Noble, whatever, and not get started by 9. And I’d screw around on the computer, get distracted by CDs, and otherwise avoid the writing sometimes. But some nights, I’d burn away and write until dawn. I tried to write 2000 words a night back then, and I’d usually make it. My mistake was that I never wrote 2000 good words. I read so many books that said ‘get your first draft finished, no matter how bad, and then you can edit it). It doesn’t work like that – I can’t edit for shit, especially the jumbled mess I wrote two years ago.

Now, I’m lucky to get an hour of writing done during lunch, and maybe an hour later at night. I’m working on improving that, but it takes work…

I really liked last night’s episode of ER – I’ve always felt that the gutsy surgical bullshit got in the way of the human emotion behind the characters, and not the other way around. I guess I like the medical stuff to an extent – it’s better than exploding rocket launchers and stuff. ER is an addicting show, and aside from the dramatics, the writing really hooks me. It’s also how a show like Seinfeld can drag me in every time. For a show about nothing, it sure is loaded with a bunch of really catchy plots full of self-referential material.

I found out that if you put four whole apples and a whole lemon in a juiceman, it makes a kick-ass lemonade. The apples sweeten it, but the lemon’s taste overpowers it. It’s sort of slushy, like a smoothie. I think I might get some strawberries and try adding them, too.

It’s Friday. Time to finish up the work day, and get out of here for the weekend…