For the last six months or so, I’ve reached for my notebook as soon as I wake up and written three pages, longhand. It’s whatever comes into my sleepy head–whacked-out dreams, whining, to-do lists, memories, private arguments, stories people tell me.
At dinner last week, Tim Bray asked why I don’t write much any more. (Tim is one of my first and favorite mentors, and I was glad to meet him after three years of quick notes.) I gave him the rehearsed excuses. I’m a slow writer; a tweaker who frets about my adjective allowance. My essays are getting too long for a blog. I’m busy with a new apartment, new city, new coast, new job. This to a man with a family and a big fat two-city job, who turns out screens of clear prose a day and answers email in ten minutes.
Then told him about the three or four pages I write every morning. “Wow, that’s odd,” he said politely. (He’s Canadian.)
God, I suppose it is. So Thursday night I dragged out those notebooks and re-read them for the first time. 180 days times three pages adds up. I feared a self-pitying loop through Woman’s Search for Meaning, but was surprised at the number of cheerful squibs and fragments that I would once have put here. They were dotted with growls about my twelve-year-old neighbor’s hollering, or more goddamn snow out there, but they were mostly readable. Or at least legible.
So this is an experiment. For a few days I’m going to put sleepiest first-thing-in-the-morning squibs up here, with a half-hour time limit, and see how they turn out. Sure, isn’t that what blogging is all about?
But no outtakes from the Bad Sex With World Leaders dream cycle, I promise. My subconscious may be power-crazed, but I’m not.