Friday, January 21, 2011

The Down and Out of Writing

As a writer you are used to being on the other side of the moon for most of your adult life. When people are at work you are at  home and when people are home you are at work. You are always where you shouldn't be and it is during these times when most people are engaged in the busy work of the day you find yourself floating in the boat of the left behind. Of course this has always been the case, but now writers have much more company. There are legions of the left behind now.

They come the same day and writers are creatures of habit too so you recognize your fellow craftsman. There is the man who stares out the window all day with a cup of coffee in his lap. He is maybe fifty. Maybe. He has been sitting in the same chair for years and knows others who come in and look for the same mirage coming down main street. They talk about places they have applied. They talk about coming to each others apartment. Neither notices the man in the corner surrounded by books and a laptop.

Then there is the man who yells. He yells about sports. He yells about politics. He rides a bicycle everyday and wears a cutoff jean jacket. He hangs around sniffing for conversation among the staff and finds a few nods and then eventually gets back on his bike and slips into the early twilight. Or the  twenty something in the hoody and Converse tennis shoes whose boyfriend sports a cowboy hat and Coke bottle glasses. They take the same chair and huddle over her laptop. Then the new guys who dress in business casual who read the paper and talk on their phones like business men. There are lots of these guys now.

And then there is the writer looking to cool off after a first draft. Trying to punch up the brain for a second run by cramming Franzen, Twain, Russo, Dickens--anything to fire up the well. He drinks coffee and munches on walnuts, then slinks away until tomorrow.
Rocket Man will blast off in April

Books by William Hazelgrove