I’m still reading writers on writing.
Here is quote from William Stafford:
Every day I get up and look out the window, and something occurs to me, something always occurs to me. And if it doesn’t, I just lower my standards
Why am I so interested in writers writings on writing? I suspect it to be partly related to an excessive search for self-acceptance. I find it quite hard to accept (forgive?) my position outside the commercial society’s ongoing dance of buying and selling. Can I call my writing a job? How can I defend using all my working-hours on art? And even worse; how can I justify all those hours used on not managing to write … etc etc
Political or ideological speaking I would obviously not agree with my own concerns here, art is important exactly because it is opposed to commercialism, entertainment, and immoderate consumption of fast food culture. But on an existential level –
– it is, at least periodically (a few times a day – ), a very difficult path to walk; lonely, tiring, and out of sync with the rest of the world – .
But I do also read writers on writing out of more practical concerns, in search of a method, a structure, some kind of scaffolding. Like in a psychotherapy, where the relations between analyst and analysand are protected by strict rules, I believe my writing would profit from some guidelines & limitations.
If you’d like to know a little bit more about the poet William Stafford, who helped me setting my thoughts in motion this morning, here are some words by Donald Hall:
Stafford is a poet of ordinary life. His collected poems are the journal of a man recording daily concerns. That is why his daily method of writing is relevant to his life’s work. You could say that his poetry is truly quotidian: he writes it every day; it comes out of every day. And the poet of the quotidian did not find it necessary to become maudit, to follow Hart Crane to the waterfront or Baudelaire to the whorehouse or even Lowell to McLean’s. He got up at six in the morning in a suburb of Portland and drained the sump.
See also: William Stafford Interviewed by William Young in the Paris Review